Many thanks for the update Philip, interesting that you haven’t been able to confirm the host. Red Wattlebirds are a pretty safe bet from the behaviour you describe, especially if there are no Friarbirds around as at my place.
Correct, I was referring to my local area which seems to be different from much of the rest of Canberra. While I thought things were slowing down I’ve still been getting a steady stream of reports (another one this evening) throughout February and I’m
now aware of about 69 fledglings, significantly higher than last year. I’m expecting at least 10 more to mid March based on previous patterns.
Sent: Friday, February 23, 2018 7:01 PM
Subject: RE: [canberrabirds] Out of area Koel
About: “my last confirmed fledgling sighting being a fortnight ago”.
I think Jack has forgotten or maybe only referring to his own observations.
A juvenile, I suspect the same one that I first noted and mentioned on 14 February is still in my area today. I heard it again on (I think) 16, 19, 20, 21,
22 & 23 February (this morning). I watched it for a while yesterday and 21 Feb. When I saw it on 21 Feb it was in my big eucalypt tree and appeared to be feeding on some fluffy stuff extracted from the underside of the leaves, (not that I could make much sense
of that but it was sort of glued to its beak). A pair of Currawongs were watching it closely and a pair of Red Wattlebirds also fusing about it and yesterday a pair of Red Wattlebirds also flying back and forward to the tree it was in then. I have not seen
the RW feeding it. My last view of an adult female Koel was also on 14 February and I have heard them also up to 2 days ago.
(Interesting that Shorty has more than one dad. Sorry.)
From: Jack & Andrea Holland [
Sent: Friday, 23 February, 2018 3:29 PM
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] Out of area Koel
Very Interesting Shorty, based on some similar observations I once had a theory that adult Koels hung around fledglings to escort them N for the winter,
but it hasn’t found favour compared with, for example, they do it to imprint the call.
My observations do support that adults and fledglings often leave at much the same time, though this year I still have adults calling despite my last confirmed fledgling sighting
being a fortnight ago.
Re the possibility of trying to lead it away so it can lay another egg, HANZAB says eggs are laid from October to February, rarely March. Interestingly it notes that a single
host-pair may raise up to 3 Koels in a season.
Not likely in Canberra, but possibly in Port Macquarie. It does seem rather close to the fledging of the current one, at least in Canberra it can be over 3 weeks before they
are weaned. I have seen them still being fed only a few days before they move away.
Sent: Friday, February 23, 2018
Subject: [canberrabirds] Out of
I am currently at my Dads at Port Maquarie. On arrival last Friday i was alerted by a begging Koel, my Dad informed me that it had fledged the day before. This has given me
a great opportunity to observe them.
The hosts are Little Wattlebirds and they have raised a single Koel every year for the past 15 years here.
During the week a pair of adult Koels have been in the area but yesterday the female came into the backyard but the Wattlebirds chased it away but only to the next yard. The
female stayed for over an hour seeming to keep an eye out on the young one.
This morning the female came again but this time it led the young one slowly away. It kept going from bush to bush until i lost sight of them.
Now an hour later the young one is still not back but the female has returned and spent a couple of minutes in the nest tree. It is now on a palm tree nearby just sitting there,
maybe it has laid another egg in the nest?
A couple of pics on FlickR for anyone interested.