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Bird Talk – Eastern Koel

Bird Talk the Eastern Koel
Chris Plevey photographer - Adult Eastern Koel

Bird Talk – Eastern Koel (Eudynamys orientalis Cuculidae)

Bird Talk is a weekly column to show case birds found within this northern area. The idea is to expand knowledge, recognition and an appreciation of the need to preserve their environment. And, the best way to do this is to invite our top bird photographers to supply photos and talk about their subjects. 

This week’s guest is Chris Plevey, a wonderful nature photographer who has a large following on social media. In August 2020 Bingara Magazine published a very popular article about Chris, and it can be read at



Thus, Chris was the first person we turned to as a guest photographer. He selected the Koel.

Eastern Koel

The Adult Eastern Koel. Photo Chis Plevey

Birdlife Australia describes the Eastern Koel as: 

‘Usually arriving in September, the Common Koel is a large migratory cuckoo which flies to Australia from New Guinea, Indonesia and possibly the Philippines. It breeds in northern and eastern Australia, mostly in Queensland and NSW, south at least to Sydney, where they are common in the suburbs. A few venture into eastern Victoria, and vagrants have occurred as far afield as Melbourne, the Murray River and Adelaide. They remain until March or April, when they return to their non-breeding grounds.’

Observations of Koel

Chris told us:

‘They are seasonal visitors to this region, travelling down from as far away as S. E.Asia, to breed, then returning north with their offspring, once the young are strong enough to travel. Being Cuckoos, they lay their eggs in other bird’s nests. The Noisy Friars which raised this bird (see photo of chick) being regular surrogates, along with several other species.

I am attaching a couple of photos of a juvenile female Koel, which was hatched and reared by a pair of Noisy Friar birds, near my current residence, a few kilometres from Manilla. The biological parents were present in the locale for a couple of months. I’m guessing they were waiting for their offspring to be big enough to travel. When the day came, the Koels lured it away, and disappeared, despite the best efforts of the surrogate parents to chase them away.

Juvenile female Koel. Photo Chris Plevey

A Juvenile takes flight from the nest he was raised in by Noisy Friar’s. Chris Plevey Photographer

I have also attached some recent shots of adult Koels, not this Bird’s parents, but another pair that took up residence along the Manilla River this spring.’

A big thanks to Chris and we will look forward to more of his great photos.

Noisy Friar Birds

Noisy Friar Birds are one of the most common birds in this area and they are especially attracted by bottle brush and other native shrubs and trees. Therefore, Koel are plentiful during breeding season this reason and careful observation is almost certain to witness “hosting” situations. (Editor)

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