RE: Foster Parenting vs Parenting

To: "'Philip Veerman'" <>
Subject: RE: Foster Parenting vs Parenting
From: "Robyn Howard" <>
Date: Tue, 1 Nov 2005 08:52:22 +1000
I guess I do assume quite a lot, but this male's call is VERY distinctive,
and he is the only male in this area.   Mostly, I recognize the males by
their call, their behaviours, their favourite perching places, and their
calling patterns.   During the period summer 1995-1998 I slept little, and
long nights of Koel calls made me familiar with them.   Each time the male
does not arrive back at the normal time, it is a new male who takes over the
territory.   In fact, one summer, I did not have a regular occupant in this
territory and could only hear calls from a long way off.   I am not aware of
there being more than one female at a time here either, though I have seen
multiple females in other sites early in the season.


Judging again on behaviour, I'd suggest there have been a minimum of 2
females, but probably at least three,  but I do not get to recognize these
as individuals so much as the males.   I suspect this female is here for the
first time as last year's female (probably her third season here)  used to
sit in the tree beside my deck making sweet little noises at me, whereas
this one stays clear of human contact.


You are right, the birds are not banded, and I certainly do not have DNA
proof, but I would consider the likelihood of  parentage being quite high
when these are the only Koels  to my knowledge at this location.


As for reasons for the behaviour,  I don't even make a suggestion.   I was
hoping for more information or examples.





From: Philip Veerman  
Sent: Monday, 31 October 2005 4:40 PM
To: Robyn Howard
Subject: Foster Parenting vs Parenting


Hi Robyn,


That behavioural observation is interesting and if it can be demonstrated to
be accurate, it would be especially useful. There has been various
observations that some parasitic cuckoos do have some minor interactions
with young cuckoos. Are all the birds you refer to banded? If not, I am just
wondering why you would suggest that "Suddenly, the male Koel, its
biological father, arrived and joined the juvenile on the ground." Why would
you think it was its biological father? I am not suggesting it isn't. I have
no idea. I could say however that he doesn't even know that. So why do you
think it was? Also why would you think "Male Koels do not seem to live long,
or perhaps they change territories, which doesn't seen likely" and why would
you suggest that it doesn't seem likely?   "There have been at least 4
different males here in the period 1996 - 2005" The numbers could be much
more or somewhat less than 4. Off the top of my head, 4 over a ten year
period for a long distance migrant, is not a big turnover. But how do you
tell the difference between the birds to have any idea how many there were?
You wrote "I don't have any way of distinguishing female individuals" This
may seem to imply that you do have a way of distinguishing male individuals
but I don't know if that is a fair implication.



<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU