Impacts of rain on breeding success?

To: Barbara Allan <>
Subject: Impacts of rain on breeding success?
From: Robin Hide <>
Date: Sat, 11 Dec 2010 14:11:40 +1100
To follow-up Michael's observation on koels in Ainslie ("brief, fleeting appearances this year"). This has been very much the case in our part of Ainslie around Corroboree Park, totally unlike the last few years when barely a day passed without hearing them. From our house, I've only heard one call briefly once in the distance, though a friend on the other side (Campbell St) of the Park reported hearing them a couple of times or so. And I've only had one sighting about two weeks ago: of a male calling midmorning, 2 m up in a small tree in a backyard in Wakefield Gardens at the Ainslie Shops.
Robin Hide

On 11/12/2010 1:49 PM, Barbara Allan wrote:
The koels are still going strong in Page as well. We have at least three: an
adult male; an immature male; and at least one but more likely two females.
This morning both adults dropped into a neighbour's liquidamber and were
urged out by the resident wattlebirds; they then tried a nondescript large
bush nearby and were discouraged by a pair of Magpie-larks. The male is
currently doing the rounds of his favourite perches, koelling steadily. They
don't appear to be sampling prunuses but the adult male has been seen
tucking into loquats. In terms of breeding success, I'd be more than
surprised if we don't score a koel chick somewhere nearby as the adults have
been so persistent over several weeks, despite there being fewer host nests.

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


Just a few comments and a bit of speculation, no science.

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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