This can only be told by banding them. As cuckoos have short legs it would be difficult to have a banding regime that would make it anything beyond difficult
to identify them without handling them. I have no idea how easy they would be to band and whether any permission to do so has been or would be given.
My guess is that it probably is not the same adult bird in one area from one year to the next. But that is based on nothing, other than a judgement call as
to why should it be the same bird? There are more than enough of them for them to be noticed without it being the same birds. I would be more inclined to ask whether the adults coming here are returning to the same area that they were born in. That is a sort
of more enticing question to me. And I have no idea. That they are taking to parasitising just one species suggests an attachment to their birth location.
From: John Harris [
Sent: Thursday, 31 October, 2019 10:42 AM
To: 'Canberra Birds'
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] Koel
A question for those wiser than I am. Do the Koels return to the same place?
There is a tendency in this discussion site for people to take ownership of Koels and even name them. – the ‘Mawson Koel’ etc. I too have been guilty of the same in previous years with the ‘Gungahlin Koel’, albeit being purposely tongue
in cheek because everybody else was claiming them.
But my question is not trivial. A Koel has been calling strongly behind my place (Ginninderra creek/Percival Hill) for about 3 weeks now. This year, it is regularly in the same Eucalypt a few hundred metres away. I was glad that this year
it was not directly behind my house, as it was ;ast year, as it begins koelling about 4.a.m.
So is it the same bird? That is my broad question. Do Koels return to the same place?