Re: birding-aus Koel Cuckoos

To: Russell <>
Subject: Re: birding-aus Koel Cuckoos
From: Penny Drake-Brockman <>
Date: Mon, 8 Mar 1999 10:08:37 +1100

>Gerry Hopkins asked how juvenile Koel Cuckoos learn to eat fruit and
>whether anyone has seen Koels collect their young.
>Last Christmas 1997/98 my local pair of Red Wattlebirds reared a
>juvenile Koel Cuckoo mostly in and around my garden. They were busy
>feeding the Juvenile Koel little cicadas, moths, caterpillars etc. Near
>the nest tree my next door neighbour was growing cherry tomatoes. A pair
>of adult Koels came daily to the garden and from my upstairs kitchen
>window I watched both male and female raid the the ripe cherry tomatoes.
>The juvenile Koel was in the adjacent Swamp Oak and one day the male
>Koel flew to the juvenile and fed it a cherry tomatoes. Within a number
>of days the juvenile Koel was coming down and taking its own cherry
>tomatoes. The Red Wattlebird hosts never atea tomatoe.This summer, my
>garden pair of Red Wattlebirds reared two Koels in succession, the last
>left the nest on 26/2/99, and was still around the garden until
>yesterday, on 1/3/99 there was a male koel in the garden, presumably
>checking on its progeny, however   I did not see it feeding the juvenile
>on this occasion. Koels and Channel-billed Cuckoos are known to meet up
>with their offspring before departing.
Re: Alan Morris's observations of Koels in his backyard,

I watched a juvenile Koel this summer in my backyard which was keeping
mainly in a large tree about 5m away in a neighbour's backyard, which is
covered in a grape vine (it had been eating the white grapes whilst also
being fed insects by its Red Wattlebird foster parents). The male Koel came
into my backyard and I watched it eat 14 fruits off the Bangolalow Palm,
closely watched by the fledgling from a tree in my yard  just behind the
palm (these fruits have a thin red  fleshy covering over a rather large
hard seed). The next day the juvenile was in the palm eating the fruits;
the male returned, the fledgling moved out of the way and watched as the
male ate, returning to the fruit when the male again left. I had heard the
adult Koels in the neighbour's tree and seen them eating grapes a few days
before this, and seen both male and female courting, also closely watched
by the juvenile.

Yesterday Sunday  8th March I found a fledgling Koel (ginger head) being
fed insects by a Red Wattlebird at Bonnievale in the Royal National Park
(rather late???).   no Beach Stone Curlew to be seen but there were lots of
people camping and it was raining on and off.

 5 Sooty Oystercatchers were out on a sandbar, and a moulting Fairy Penguin
swimming on the surface towards the mouth of the creek, feeding presumably
in a shoal of small fish and joined after 5 mins observation by 15 Little
Black Cormorants.  It was paddling around with its head under the water,
occasionally lifting to move something around in its beak. It was blotchy -
looked as if it had mange (or worse) and at first quite unrecognisable
until we had a good look at the head. Seemed quite healthy and could move
fast. Paid no attention to us standing on the sand about 7 m away.
Had two American birders with me who were greatly excited by all this,
despite the rain. They also got excellent close views of a female Lyrebird
feeding her fully grown chick at Wattle Flat, and a male with superb tail
walking nearby.
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