I will disagree with Philip that the Pacific Koel has not been recorded in rural areas. Two of the members of The Charcoal Tank and Weddin Mountains banding team live in the
bushland surrounding Queanbeyan, quite a distance from the normal urban area. Their house, built on a fairly steep slopping block, has a large first floor balcony that almost looks into the canopy of the
Eucalyptus polyanthemos, E. macrorhyncha woodland. Pacific Koels are regular visitors to the area (I have heard them in the general area) and several years ago a Noisy Friarbird nested a few metres from the balcony so they were able to watch the
friarbirds coming and going. They were most surprised when the juvenile bird in the nest turned out to be a koel chick. Virginia was made aware of this occurrence after the chick had fledged.
It is a given that koels will occur in non urban areas as they must fly through or over bushland to get anywhere in the southern parts of their range. They probably go unnoticed
as they generally appear to move at night and are not calling until they arrive at the locations they want to reside in.
As for Philip’s criticism that the COG book “The Birds of Canberra Gardens” does not go into details of habitat, it was not designed for that purpose. Philip should also realise
that books such as his are out of date as soon as they are published, as is any book, such as the book that I and others did while I was at CSIRO. His constant referring to data that is out of date makes it irrelevant. I am sure the COG committee will publish
its own version of the analysis of the Garden Bird Chart in its own time.
From: Hawkins, Brian
Sent: Monday, 5 December 2016 3:21 PM
To: 'Philip Veerman'; 'Virginia Abernathy';
Subject: RE: [canberrabirds] Still at JWNR [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]
The association of Koels with settlement seems to be a widespread phenomenon.
In the Bellinger/Dorrigo area of northern NSW, where there are large tracts of rainforest packed with figs and other good sources of Koel food, Koels are common in and near
towns and farmland, but otherwise surprisingly rare.
Interesting comment. When I typed The GBS Report, most of the text was pretty straight provision of data. At some times I added just what I thought was some helpful descriptive
text and at some times bordering on conjecture. Maybe these days most people don’t seek them out rather they wish they would go away...... Although I did not directly predict an ongoing increase. At that time the Koel was only just beginning its rapid rise
in presence here. But it is nice to see what Virginia wrote and how close it was to my observation 14 years ago about the Koel’s tendency to occur (almost) only in suburban habitat. Also as noted before the word “yet” at the end, indicating I was confident
before it happened, that local breeding would happen. As noted before with more recent data: “Birds of Canberra gardens V2” did not bother to add anything useful - even if you can find out where to find it in the book (hint “E”). Although “Birds of Canberra
gardens V1” did adopt my text about the fruit. To find that the hint is “C”.
This cuckoo has arrived here increasingly in recent years, 48 of the 71 records were in Years 18 to 21, including many with repeat observations
and some of two birds. Records are overstated a bit as one noisy male can be widely recorded. Their call is loud, far-carrying and distinctive and observers seek them out when told they have been noted nearby, so many observations are from the bird heard calling.
Maller & Jones (2001) in Brisbane found a temporal pattern to their calling which will impact on recording rate. Seasonal pattern is very clear, arrive in October, build to a December peak then decline, last observed in February.
They seem to inhabit only the suburbs locally and are the only species recorded in the GBS not to be recorded in bush areas around Canberra (except twice,
COG Atlas & 1999-2000 ABR). They are probably attracted by fruit, that is not available in woodlands. No breeding records -
Graphs on page: 95, Rank: 104, A = 0.00298, F = 6.12%, W = 3.6, R = 0.279%, G = 1.07.
From: Virginia Abernathy
Sent: Monday, 5 December, 2016 11:25 AM
To: Geoffrey Dabb;
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] Still at JWNR
Yes I'm still following all the koel posts out of my own interest. I am unaware of any koels being sighted before at the Jerrabomberra Wetlands, or at any nature reserve for that matter. So that's
pretty exciting that you are hearing them there. It seems like they are becoming more and more common each year and maybe are now expanding into the reserves. It will be interesting to know when/if they ever start breeding in the botanic gardens as there are
so many wattlebirds breeding there.