bird romance

Romancing Koels

male koel

Koels herald the start of the stormy season and are called 'storm birds' by the locals.

While as big as a crow or a currawong, by nature they are shy birds and tend to stay in hiding. Their red eyes match the mulberries in the tree and when they sit in the shade of the broad leaves, one would never guess that there was a big bird sitting only a few feet away.

All the other birds are generally wary of cuckoos as they sense that someone devious is lurking in their midst.  The koels know that they are not popular, but they do win favours by chasing the goannas and feral cats thus making friends and gaining the trust with some of the other birds.

Having done so this male koel (left) was allowed to come out of hiding without any protest from the smaller birds that visit our yard. His mind and heart was elsewhere though as we discovered.

2 male koels hiding in the mulberry treeIn the trees was hiding another male koel whose presence was causing him great consternation.

female koel

It turned out that the tree was hiding another secret.  Closer inspection revealed a young female koel who was the centre of attention of the two vying young males. The lady honoured us by coming out after some gentle coaxing and sweet talking.

Her two suitors spent the next few days charming and courting her with their songs.  Once she declared her choice they flew into the deep bush leaving one lonely bird who called for weeks. We hope he found his sweetheart too.

Click here for more pics and slideshow

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Vicky recovered

Our queen Vicky magpie has been free of flu symptoms for a week now, so we are cautiously optimistic that she has beaten the illness that took our pied butcherbirds Gerry and Teddles. But the visits to the nest seem to have been a false alarm; no one has been sitting on any eggs this week as far as we can tell. So we took a walk up the road yesterday and asked our magpies what's up this year.

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Vicky and Bertie - Magpie Romance

Bertie (below), the new male magpie has successfully won Vicky's heart.


He is a big strong male with plumage patterns that are distincltly different from Maggie, but like Maggie he has a beautiful voice.

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Has Vicky Magpie got a mate at last?

I told you about the male magpie Richie, who has been wooing Vicky since Maggie's passing. Well Tuesday morning, four birds (instead of three) landed to say hello to us. Vicky and her adult kids Mindy and Monty were there, as was a large handsome male magpie, all four loudly carolling out their territorial ownership. Who was the new male magpie?

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Vicky Rejects a Suitor

Last week there was a new, nervous young male magpie paying us a visit. He was doing his best to show us he was brave and intelligent, and he came right up to our glass back door, and when we went outside, he would hold his ground and try to show how he was not going to be frightened, but equally he wanted to say hello and get to know the humans.

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