I had a similar experience with Koels last week (3/12 at 5.45am) in Townsville.
The Koels were quite close together in a large Rain Tree and the female had
what looked like an offering in her bill. The male was stationary and the
female hopped around him about 1 metre away. The whole time this was going on,
Fifgirds, White-gaped and Brown Honeyeaters were flying at both birds. The
Koels seemed oblivious of the other birds and of me standing below (normally
the female is off at the first sighting of an observer). Their concentration
seemed to indicate a breeding event coming on, but unfortunately I didn't see
it. Like you, this is the first time I have seen this behaviour in 16 years
living amongst them here.
On 03/12/2009, at 11:00 AM, wrote:
> Date: Wed, 2 Dec 2009 20:49:44 +1000
> From: L&L Knight <>
> Subject: [Birding-Aus] Koels Carrying on in SEQ
> To: Birding Aus <>
> Message-ID: <>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII; format=flowed; delsp=yes
> I heard a ruckus outside my place late this afternoon. The Koels were
> going off. I stepped onto the street and saw a strange procession. A
> female Koel was doing 100 metre radius laps. She was tailed by a
> Noisy Miner (5 metres behind) with a male Koel following a further 20
> metres back. After several laps, the birds settled in my backyard and
> proceeded to do a duet. I would describe the female's vocalisation as
> a "delta call" [as opposed to the more common "alpha" and "beta"
> calls]. This was a repeated screech that reminded me of King
> Parrots. The female moved into a reasonably open position in a
> paperbark tree giving me good full body views. I could clearly see
> that the head plumage was very different to that of the Koel I saw on
> Home Island [Cocos-Keeling group] last year.
> I don't recall seeing male and female Koels associating this closely.
> What is the mating drill with Koels? What is the normal time lag
> between mating and egg laying? Does the male "latch onto" a female
> for an extended period of time so as be in position to mate shortly
> before she raids a nest? There are certainly no host nests at my
> place, the nearest [presumably crows] would be one hundred metres or
> more away.
> Regards, Laurie.
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