Distinguishing female and juvenile Koels

To: 'COG list' <>
Subject: Distinguishing female and juvenile Koels
From: Philip Veerman <>
Date: Mon, 8 Feb 2021 00:00:47 +0000

Apart from the really obvious that the birds grow as they age, over this period, I get the impression that there is a lot more size variation in DY Koels, after they leave the nest, than for most other birds. Any ideas about that? Although I have never seen 2 DY Koels together, the one I saw at Isabella pond was, I thought, a lot bigger than the one at my home over the same few days (home one was around yesterday). Even though otherwise at a similar stage by behaviour & tail length.  I have thought this for a while.


From: Canberrabirds [ On Behalf Of Robin Hide via Canberrabirds
Sent: Monday, 8 February, 2021 9:16 AM
To: ;
Subject: Re: [Canberrabirds] Distinguishing female and juvenile Koels



many thanks for your reply.


Just had another in the garden- younger (I think)  and begging:  (a RWB in the plum tree nearby). The Koel sitting on the sunscreen over our raspberries. and then into the plum tree


7 Toms Crescent, Ainslie.  8 Feb. 21












From: [
Sent: Tuesday, 2 February 2021 3:59 PM
To: Robin Hide
Subject: RE: [Canberrabirds] Distinguishing female and juvenile Koels


Many thanks Robin, I am preparing my presentation on the ACT Koel for the COG meeting and one slide makes the following points which I’ll also illustrate with photos (but field guides also show)


  • Female spotted on back, black head/under chin
  • Fledgling/juvenile barred back and wings, often a golden crown, tail may be short but grows, as does amount of black on crown and under chin
  • Fledgling colour can be very variable from very light to quite golden, to quite brown


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