Probable young koel in Glebe Park.

To: 'Philip Veerman' <>, 'COG' <>
Subject: Probable young koel in Glebe Park.
From: John Layton <>
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 07:20:13 +0000



Thanks for your comment. Obviously, I wasn’t aware of the vocal capabilities of Pied Currawongs and Red Wattlebirds.




From: Canberrabirds [ On Behalf Of Philip Veerman
Sent: Thursday, 25 February 2021 5:50 PM
To: 'COG'
Subject: [Canberrabirds] Probable young koel in Glebe Park.




Just on reading what you wrote, I would expect you were seeing a young Koel but I would be suggesting that the actual noise is more likely to have mostly come from the Red Wattlebirds and / or the Pied Currawong. It is quite common for Currawongs to take an interest in young Koels. RW foster parents will defend them and the encounters can become noisy.





From: Canberrabirds [ On Behalf Of John Layton
Sent: Thursday, 25 February, 2021 3:34 PM
To: Canberra birds
Subject: [Canberrabirds] Probable young koel in Glebe Park.


At 09:00 on 21/02/21 while walking in Glebe Park I heard an outpouring of the strangest bird calls I’ve ever experienced in the COG A.O.I. With just a touch of melodrama I’d describe it as an overlapping of sounds, a churring, clacking, wheezing aural collage reminiscent of an old chaff-cutter being driven by a farmer with emphysema.

At first I couldn’t sight the source of the noise until two Red Wattlebirds flew into the thickly foliaged tree and then, after 30-seconds prying with my binoculars, I glimpsed the head and neck of what I took to be a young koel. (My experience with koels is minimal.) I could see the black eye stripe which broadened noticeably as it extended down the side of the neck. The crown appeared to be a light buff rather than golden, but this may have been due to the light.

Suddenly a Pied Currawong burst out from near the koel chased by one of the wattlebirds. Perhaps my decision that the koel was a youngster was driven by the presence of the wattlebirds that may have been feeding it, although I couldn’t see what they were doing. And a further thought: maybe the extraordinary racket kicked up by the koel might have been a reaction to the presence of the currawong.

So there’s an element of conjecture in the foregoing but here’s hoping it is of some interest.


John Layton















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