Male Koel feeds young Koel

To: 'Jean Casburn' <>, 'canberrabirds' <>
Subject: Male Koel feeds young Koel
From: "" <>
Date: Sat, 21 Nov 2020 21:08:35 +0000

Thank you Jean, to my knowledge this would be unprecedented. 


My summary of the 2019-2020 ACT Koel season, soon to be published in the December issue of CBN, will be accompanied by papers by Julie Clark and John Harris who both were able to watch Koel fledglings grow up in their gardens last summer for 77 and over 30 days, respectively.  Julie had both male (mainly) and female Koels close to her fledgling on several occasions, whereas John had a male close to his fledgling for much of its stay.  However, importantly, in neither case was the adult Koel ever seen to feed the fledgling, as opposed to the Red Wattlebird host which fed the fledglings mince and plums, respectively.  There seemed to be an association rather than a direct interaction.


The timing is a possible issue.  Koels certainly did arrive a bit earlier this year, some at the very end of September/many early October.  With the known maximum time from egg laying to fledgling of 37 days, this is about 50 days ago.  So I guess it’s possible but very tight, if the egg was laid almost immediately and the fledgling is now quite a large golden bird (in my experience some are very golden indeed).  The previous earliest fledgling date I’ve documented is in the GBS week starting 4 December, ie about 3 weeks from now.


So I would be very grateful if you could get some further details from your friend, in particular what was being fed to the fledgling, eg mince or similar from a feeding table/area, or was it foraging naturally for insects or fruit.  Other information as to the date it was first observed, the suburb etc would be important, a photo of the fledgling etc if at all possible would be lovely.


Many thanks for bringing this potentially very important observation to our attention.


Jack Holland


From: Canberrabirds <> On Behalf Of Jean Casburn
Sent: Saturday, 21 November 2020 4:20 PM
To: 'canberrabirds' <>
Subject: [Canberrabirds] Male Koel feeds young Koel


A golfing friend told me story about a Koel she routinely feeds with fruit.  This Koel brought a small fledgling into the garden and proceeded to feed it as it kept on growing – now quite a large beautiful golden bird. She wondered if this is an uncommon behaviour on the part of a male bird? She knows that is usually the Red Wattlebird that raises Koel chicks.

Has anyone seen similar?

Murrumbidgee golf course is currently host to hundreds of Wood Ducks and chicks of all sizes. Three Black-fronted Dotterel returned last week after long absence.



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