Choughs and koel

To: 'Susan Robertson' <>, "" <>
Subject: Choughs and koel
From: "" <>
Date: Sat, 30 Nov 2019 03:25:07 +0000

Susan, very interesting.  I’ve seen a male Koel giving the kek kek kek call a number of times including a couple of weeks ago watched a male interchanging it seamlessly with the whoa whoa (how I prefer to notate it) call, switching a number of times.  Geoffrey Dabb and others have witnessed this as well.


However, I’ve never confirmed or heard about a female giving male calls, though recently several times I’ve wondered about this.  The problem is that most times you can’t actually see the bird that’s giving the calls, especially when there are a number of birds in the tree/area and all three variants of their main calls (and other more subtle variants as well) can be heard at about the same time.


Interestingly Koel activity seems to have quietened locally (Chapman/Rivett) from the up to 5 birds earlier in the month.  There now appears to be just two, and also some ko-el calls over the past few days which were really only heard over the first week or so of their return this season.


Jack Holland


From: Susan Robertson <>
Sent: Saturday, 30 November 2019 12:48 PM
Subject: [canberrabirds] Choughs and koel


    This morning the family of choughs which I had been watching nesting near the Vietnam War Memorial in Anzac Parade were out in nearby Booroondara Street.  The choughs were high in the trees initially and then flew down in a garden.  I was surprised to see (and hear!!) three young ones rather than the two I had thought were in the nest.  When a woman walked by with a dog the adults went berserk, swooping down at the dog. 

    While I was watching them, a pale coloured female koel flew into nearby trees calling with both ‘koel’ and ‘wirra wirra’ calls.  It was being attacked by a Red Wattlebird.

    Susan Robertson



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