At what age does a Koel change into male adult plumage?
I had not seen a juvenile around my area [Maroochydore, SEQ] this year, but
this fellow suddenly turned up yesterday looking very patchy. It still has
the juvenile eye stripes, but is otherwise very black about the head, but
If it is this year's offspring, I don't think it can be older than about three
months at the outside, which seems young to go into breeding plumage. Is it
last year's offspring, possibly?
The female who always comes to my place turned up three weeks early this year
when there were no males around. What appeared to be a young male turned up
about three weeks later, but whe kept chasing him away. The usual male
finally turned up on 15th November - his usual arrival is about 1st October,
about 10 days before Mrs K. After waiting over seven weeks for him, she
greeted him with great joy. The joy went on for nearly two months! I have
never seen two birds mate so often and over such a long period!!!!! She ended
up with only one tail feather left, and I was worried about her flight
capability on migrating north, but the feathers are quickly regrowing.
With all their activity, I would expect multiple juvenile Koels arounds, but I
have seen none, and don't know which birds would have been the foster parents -
not the usual Magpie-larks, who successfully raised three of their own during
Their time to depart will come all too soon.
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