Male Common Koels interacting

Subject: Male Common Koels interacting
From: "Dean Portelli" <>
Date: Wed, 12 Nov 2003 17:00:32 +1100
Hi All,

This morning I walked to Parramatta (western Sydney) and stopped to watch two male Common Koels perched about 1 1/4 their body length apart in a large casuarina. Both birds were calling intermittently with the repated "whee-do whee-do whee-do whee-do" (or "quodel-quodel-quodel" in Pizzey). One of the birds was singing at a slighlty lower frequency tha the other, and was also more vocal (the pitch of this birds calls sounded similar to other koels I have heard, the second bird with a higher pitch sounded unusual). This more vocal bird was also regularly flicking out its wings, a quick short jerky outward movement of the closed wing. The second bird also did this but less frequently. Apart from the calling and wing movements there was no other posturing. Both birds remained on their perches.

After a few minutes, when I was about to walk off to get to where I was headed, I saw the more vocal bird fly at the other and attack it, forcing the recipient to fly down to a lower branch in the tree. The attacker remained at the same height and perched on a different branch. The recipient did not stay perched for very long, but began moving through the casuarina, gradually getting higher and into an adjacent tree. As it did this the bird had its tail fanned out and was doing the wing flicking movement frequently. Both birds remained silent. The recipient then flew out of the tree and away over the cleared fields. Then once it had landed elsewhere recommenced the "whee-do whee-do whee-do" vocalisation, which the remaining bird replied to, with the slightly lower frequency.

I don't know much about Koel behaviour, but it was interesting to watch the two males interacting in this manner.

Cheers, Dean

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