this particular discussion here, whether to focus on the
parasite or the host for recording purposes, is specific to the requirements of
placing records on the GBS chart. Normally, I would expect that events for both
parties are fully recorded. And my hope is, that in that particular case of
Tery Munro's observations, details of dates etc.
are noted and, in addition to GBS entries, also make their way into the COG
database. There the entries for host and parasite could easily be
Sent: Tuesday, January 31, 2012 7:01 PM
Subject: RE: [canberrabirds] Koels breeding in GBS
discussion. How do they deal with this issue in other jurisdictions, eg,
UK, does anyone
From: Philip Veerman
Sent: Tuesday, 31 January 2012 6:19
Subject: [canberrabirds] Koels breeding in
All sounds fine to me.
About the aspect of survival of the the species, sure I go along with that but
there is the aspect of what we perceive as important and whose survival are we
interested to monitor. A cuckoo's breeding survival is the host's non-breeding
survival. Martin's preference for data is entirely valid in the situation that
one more or less Red Wattlebird nesting, hardly matters, in terms of GBS records
but Koel breeding records are more interesting.
However, take it the
other way (and it could almost have been a GBS record). Some few years ago when
we had the nesting colony of Regent Honeyeaters on the northern edge of Canberra
suburbs and found one nest to have been successfully parasitized by a Pallid
Cuckoo (I think Jenny Bounds had that history covered). Yes that is an aspect of
about survival of the species for the Pallid Cuckoo but equally and
arguably more important to us, due to concern over its status, was the (in
this case non helpful to the survival of the species) for the failed
nesting of the Regent Honeyeaters. So I wouldn't like us to miss the information
on the Regent Honeyeater. Also with the postulation I have that in such a
case the Pallid Cuckoo raised by them may grow up to prefer to parasitize
another Regent Honeyeater nest and create ongoing impact there. (No direct
evidence for this, just a strong
For what it is worth, I
had assumed that, like the King Parrot for which all breeding records are dy, I
expect that other cuckoo breeding records are of nests (far) outside
GBS areas and young have followed the parents into GBS areas. This is
clearly not so much the case for Koels
Sent: Tuesday, 31 January 2012 5:43
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] Koels breeding
in GBS sites
My philosophy is that
breeding is primarily about survival of the the species. From that view
the DY of a Koel being fed by a Red Wattlebird is certainly about the Koel and
not the Wattlebird.
Terry's situation, if his very reasonable assumption
is carried through, will be the first in-nest record of a cuckoo. There
have been some records of 'preliminaries' (Display and Copulation) but none of
"Nest with eggs" or "nest with young".
In terms of logic there must be a
time at which the nest contains eggs and young of both species, but without
great luck (or a cherry-picker) it will only be possible to infer, rather
than observe that. Having had the application to identify what is going on
there may be a chance that Terry will observe the Koel chick in the nest.
In that case I believe it should be recorded against the species of the chick
not the parents.
However the parents could quite reasonably be
recorded as Carrying food for the young cuckoo - indeed if the nest was outside
Terry's GBS site he may well have recorded the parents carrying food within his
site. A similar situation arose on the Kama Wednesday Walk where we saw a
Superb Fairy-wren feeding a Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo (out of nest).
At the risk of causing confusion I wonder whether there might not be a
need for an additional breeding code. I'd suggest CU for feeding CUckoo
attached to the Parent bird (whether the feeding is in or out of nest).
This could be easily linked to the DY or NY records for the cuckoos in the same
site and week.
Analysts could then do as they wish to infer when the Koel
eggs were laid etc.
On Tue, Jan 31, 2012 at 5:09 PM, Philip Veerman <>
And indeed a dy for the
host species too? Although maybe we should clarify that. I point
out the situation is new. At the time I wrote The GBS Report, there had
never been an in nest observation of any species of cuckoo for the history of
the GBS. Only dy observations. So I did not discuss the problem in The GBS
Report. As Koels (unlike other cuckoos) are common in suburban Canberra and rare outside
the city environs, the breeding is occurring in nests in GBS areas. In Terry's
note below (and similar for others) what we likely have is a ne, a ny and if
successful a dy set of records for both the cuckoo and the host. Is it sensible
to call it a dy for the wattlebird? I could argue both yes (from the point of
view of the wattlebird) the wattlebird has dy, or no, from the point of
view of the cuckoo, there are no dy wattlebird chicks from that nest.
Of course at the time I
wrote The GBS Report, I wrote for the Koel "No breeding records - yet"
Which indicates my now correct
prediction that such records would start soon. BOCG V2 tells us even
Pity that there won't
ever be an update of The GBS Report to explain the history and results of the
project to clarify these things.
Sent: Tuesday, 31 January 2012 4:22
To: Terry Munro
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] Koels in
Can you (and
anyone else who has Koels or other cuckoo breeding records in a GBS site) record
the event carefully with notes on the Chart. If a juvenile Koel emerges it
should be recorded as DY for that species.
On Tue, Jan 31, 2012 at 4:06 PM, Terry Munro <>
I've been watching a Wattlebirds nest that I believe has
been parasitised by a Koel. A young dead Wattlebird chick is hanging outside the
nest & the chick being fed by the adult Wattlebirds isn't making the normal
bzzzt bzzt calls of a young wattlebird. I can't see inside the nest because it
is too high. Over the past month there was a lot of Koel activity in the area. I
am keeping a close eye on what happens.