Impacts of rain on breeding success?

To: "'chat line'" <>
Subject: Impacts of rain on breeding success?
From: "Geoffrey Dabb" <>
Date: Sat, 11 Dec 2010 11:26:56 +1100

In response to Michaels obs on the koels this year, around here (Rocky Knob) there is more activity than in previous years.  I think I mentioned that in previous years a single male would sit in a tree-top koeling for hours on end, rather unproductively.  The male here this year is much more businesslike, koeling only briefly at one spot before changing position, listening alertly,  and giving plenty of wurras when excited.  A female is regularly about and at least one other male, probably two, is often within earshot.  Incidentally, Malcolm Fyfe tells me koels are being reported in Cowra.


The unusual call I mentioned previously is heard perhaps every second day.  I think this must be what is referred to in HANZAB under 'other calls':  'four loud harsh single calls given by displaying male, with similar calls by female in reply'.  This is a loud, sometimes startling, 'wuh-huh-huh-huh'.  It is rather like a loud version of the morning call of the Hooded Robin - but only the first 4 notes of the 5.


Below are this morning's snaps.  The female ducks below a wattlebird attack while giving its 'buzz-alarm' call, and a male approaches the female in a leafy tree.  Both show signs of having been at the prunus.




-----Original Message-----
From: Michael and Janette Lenz [
Sent: Friday, 10 December 2010 7:41 PM
To: David McDonald; chat line
Subject: Impacts of rain on breeding success?





I have also been wondering why Koels have only given brief, fleeting

appearances this year in some of the areas where they have been breeding

successfully in the past (e.g. Ainslie, Lyneham). Is this also weather

related? Perhaps a reflection of limited numbers of suitable host nests at

the right stage/time for dropping eggs in? With the mild winter/spring and

some early welcome rains, several species have started nesting earlier than

usual, this would have been followed by difficult conditions for follow-up

broods (e.g. Red Wattlebird, Magpie-lark, Noisy Friarbird, potential hosts)?

We also have to keep in mind that rainfall in different parts of Canberra

can vary greatly; hence conditions and circumstances are not uniform across

town. What may apply to some parts of our area, may not be relevant in



Michael Lenz


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