An Odd Koel Situation

In my experience, koels almost invariably call from cover. You can hear them but they lurk in such thick foliage that you can rarely see them calling.

I was riding my bike up a hill in the southern suburbs of Brisbane around 6 am this morning when I heard some classic koel grunting. I saw a male koel perched less than a metre above the ground in an open shrub on the footpath. It remained in the shrub until I was within 2 metres of it and then flew off. I had a good look at its red eye. Shortly after a female koel broke cover from a low position about 10 metres away, calling as it flew.

I was wondering what they were up to. You don’t normally get that close to koels. I thought they might have been nest raiding. If that was the case, the host species would be one comfortable nesting at a fairly low level …

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