About “This was a female koel responding to nearby wattlebirds, making a ‘complaint call’. “ The
context and sentence is that this was the Koel call but as it was responding to nearby wattlebirds (so presumably they were calling) then “making a complaint call’ could also be read that the ‘complaint call’ was being made by the Wattlebirds. A wonky but
possible misunderstanding. …… Is kek-kek-kek the complaint call?
Long ago when I was a student, I was taught that animal calls should be described by their sound and not named for their purpose, because we might have misunderstood their purpose. If, after study, it becomes clear that we do know their purpose, then we can
by pass that rule. And now we often do, because it is so much more convenient.
I suggest however that the Wattlebirds have more to complain about than the Koel. Yes the Koels get a lot of agro from the RW. They deserve it. Not to be moralistic
From: Tyrie Starrs [
Sent: Friday, 11 October, 2019 9:03 AM
To: ; 'Geoffrey Dabb';
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] Seasonal Canberra
We heard our first Koel of the season in Wanniassa on Saturday (5 Oct).
Sent: Friday, October 11, 2019 8:52:34 AM
To: 'Geoffrey Dabb' <>; <>
Subject: RE: [canberrabirds] Seasonal Canberra
Well done Geoffrey, as far as I’m aware the first Koel report in Canberra for this season, there are none on the eBird Australia map so far when I just checked.
And for the first Koel reported to be a female is most remarkable, possibly the immature one Rob Parnell snapped not far from you in June?
Is any subscriber aware of any other reports for this new season?
From: Geoffrey Dabb <>
Sent: Friday, 11 October 2019 8:46 AM
Subject: [canberrabirds] Seasonal Canberra
As we know from the recent COG survey, there are different views about what people like to read about on this chatline. Some people like to know about bins and dogs, others not so much. Whatever, at 7am today, having
done the early dog walk and put up the bins, I was idly snapping about a dozen lorikeets in a pink ironbark on the verge in Brockman St when I heard an explosive kek-kek-kek from a euc in Wylie St. This was a female koel responding to nearby wattlebirds, making
a ‘complaint call’. The bird flew off and I tracked it to about 100m away in Finniss Crescent, at the top of a pin oak. After a few keks it calmed down. I watched it for about 10 minutes. It was giving occasional soft ‘oo-ers’, a sound that might also be
rendered ‘wirra’, or perhaps even ‘koel’, but not repeated as a sequence. The bird was turning its head while calling as if sounding out the neighbourhood. I had a clear view of the tree and nearby trees and no other koels were seen or heard. This is the
first koel seen or heard in the neighbourhood so far this season.