PhD Koel Project

To: "" <>
Subject: PhD Koel Project
From: Virginia Abernathy <>
Date: Thu, 3 Sep 2015 11:25:03 +0000

Dear COG,

I am an ANU PhD student working on koels in both Canberra and Sydney. Some of you may already be familiar with my research, but just in case you are not, I am looking at how quickly hosts of the koel can evolve defences, as the koel is a relatively recent addition to Canberra and only recently began using the Red Wattlebird as its primary host in Sydney and Canberra. I've been conducting nest experiments at wattlebird nests, as well as at nests of two older hosts: the Magpie-larks and Noisy Friarbirds.

During the first year of the study in Canberra, the COG members were incredibly helpful and encouraging, assisting me with locating nests and koel fledglings. This year I will have two field assistants in Canberra while I remain in Sydney. I have CCed both of them on this email so you can get in touch with them directly. My request is if you happen to find any host nests, host fledglings, or see koel activity (especially female koels, koel fledglings, ect) that you let them know so they can investigate. Any stage of host nest is usable for my project.

Both assistants have been through the ANU Animal Ethics training course and have all the proper permits and experience for conducting this work. I have also been/will be training them before they start work on their own.

I thank all of you for your help in the past and look forward to a great and exciting new season!



May the koels be with you!

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