I listened to an interesting story last night, told by Ailsa Watson, who is
in charge of Seabird Rescue on the Sunshine Coast, SEQld.
I have never regarded the Common Koel as a carnivore. The Photographic
Index records foods as fruits and some insects.
Ailsa has a Koel coming in to her feeding trays. She has one tray at each
end of her verandah, one bearing fruit, the other bearing meat. She has
observed, over the three years of Koel visitation, that prior to Christmas
the Koel always feeds from the fruit tray.
But once again, after Christmas, the Koel has switched to feeding from the
meat tray. It behaves aggressively towards the kookaburras, raising its
neck and head feathers in threat. I can't recall if Ailsa said it feeds
exclusively on meat, or not.
Ailsa is thinking that the Koel is possibly changing its diet at this
point, in order to build up protein in preparation for the coming northward
migration. I have no argument with this theory.
What do others think? Has anyone observed Koels eating meat in the wild? I
would welcome a discussion on this subject through birding-aus, and suggest
that Ailsa, who does not subscribe to this list, would also like to receive
copies of messages at her address :
Sunshine Coast, Qld
26º 51' 152º 56'
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