What the heck do we call the Koel?

To: "'Tim Dolby'" <>, "'Patrick Scully'" <>, <>
Subject: What the heck do we call the Koel?
From: "Jeff Davies" <>
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 2010 16:04:52 +1100
G'day Tim,

You wrote in relation to the C and B listing of Eastern Koel "and is treated
as conspecific with Common Koel E. scolopacea".
In the interest of avoiding the confusion spilling over into the Latin names
I need to correct you, C and B do not treat Eastern Koel as conspecific with
Asian Koel, they are both recognized as separate species in their book. 

You mentioned that Eremaea uses Clements. The Eastern Koel is listed in C
and B as Eudynamys orientalis not cyanocephalus as listed by Clements
because ssp orientalis from the Moluccas which is part of the Eastern
species was the oldest name for the species so takes precidence. To add to
the confusion Clements have got ssp orientalis listed under Asian Koel not
Eastern. I'm not sure how useful Clements's "international data set " is in
this instance, it's not really a "data set" it's just a list of bird names
and in this instance they are confused and have spread their confusion by
being half-baked and not accurate with updating the list.

Cheers Jeff.

-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of Tim Dolby
Sent: Wednesday, 10 November 2010 2:14 PM
To: Patrick Scully; 
Subject: What the heck do we call the Koel?


This is my understanding of the current naming status of Eudynamys

- Christides and Boles 2008 use the name Eastern Koel, and is treated as
conspecific with Common Koel E. scolopacea. Note that Birds Australia uses
C&B 2008.

- The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World produced by Cornell Lab of
Ornithology use the name Australian Koel. Birdline International follows

- Schodde & Mason (1997, 1999) use the name Pacific Koel.

Most Australian birders use the Christides & Boles 2008 checklist, and as a
consequence use the term Eastern Koel.

By my reckoning, almost certainly the confusion over the name in Australia
is based on the fact that Eremaea uses the Clements Checklist, noting that
Eremaea is an international service and has an international dataset. As a
consequence the Australian Birdline services (sponsored by Birds Australia
and hosted by Eremaea) also use the Clements Checklist, thus using Clements
name Australian Koel.

The dilemma for the moderators of this service is that every time someone
enters Eastern, Common and less commonly Pacific Koel, do we change the name
to be in line with Clements or just leave it as is. (Noting that it gets
entered in the Eremaea dataset as Australian Koel - and when it is
transfered to the Birds Australia Atlas is it converted to Eastern Koel).

At this stage I tend to leave it as it, and thus we have several names in
Birdline for the same bird. There are a quite a few other examples like this
- the most recent for me being Grey vs Gray-streaked Flycatcher (or indeed
Gray vs Grey Falcon), and of course the Albatross are a real issue of
debate. But I'm not going there....

Hope this makes sense.


Tim Dolby
on behalf of Patrick Scully 
Sent: Wednesday, November 10, 2010 1:23 PM
Subject: What the heck do we call the Koel?

Hi All,
After reading of the the reported Koel at Victoria Bridge, Richmond, I poped
down there yesterday and heard a Koel calling (I recognised the call after
hearing and seeing  it in Newcastle) for around ten minutes. I didn't have
the time to look further but it was on the East side of the river (opposite
side to the bike track) just upstream of the bridge. later like the other
person,  I pondered on the correct name, as it was reported as both the
Eastern and the Austrlian Koel. My old Simpson and day calls it the Common
Koel as does my Morcombe, Pizzey and Knight 8th Ed calls it the Eastern Koel
and the most recent Simpson and Day (2010) calls it the Eastern (Common)
Koel. If it is now properly called the Australian Koel?, does this mean that
it does not migrate to PNG and Indonesia?
Happy birding,
Patrick Scully

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