Lady Koel by bobfoto

Lady Koel

I think I found out possibly where the feathers came from...

I heard an odd sound out the window, once again Blue Faced Honeyeaters were annoying the Barking Owl. But now the Bowerbirds were joining in, and I could hear another different bird. And after spotting a Superb Fruit Dove for the first time in my garden this morning, I went out to investigate.

In one of the trees sat this female Eastern Koel, some call them "storm birds" because they appear in Queensland at the start of the wet season. This female was looking hot and was panting to keep cool... but there was another reason she was hot, 2 males Koels were keeping her company. The males are the same shape but all black with a red eye. The female is prettier to look at. Then a juvenile joined the trio and then they all flew off.

Koels are like cuckoos, they lay their eggs in other nests and the young Koel will then turf out the other eggs after hatching. And therefore the baby Koel will be raised by a different mum and dad. The Koel therefore draw attention to themselves and many of the other birds will try to scare them off.

So with everyone annoyed at the Owl, there was a few more birds in which to be grumpy with!
You continue to astound me with both your photographic skills and your knowledge of critters. This is particularlty fine.
February 19th, 2011  
@swilde - it is funny watching one of these birds being fed by a magpie-lark! Especially when junior is twice the size of mum or dad!
February 19th, 2011  
Nice capture mate.
February 19th, 2011  
@dcr - cheers Drew.
February 19th, 2011  
beautiful photo and I also feel like I have learnt something for the day... Thanks
February 19th, 2011  
Wow Jason - a bird I've never even heard of. What a personality they must be! The mean streak starting when the babies hatch! FAncy them turfing out the other eggs and fancy the parents letting the other birds raise their chicks! Fabulous photo and obviously not an oompaloompa bird.
February 19th, 2011  
Yes, this is possibly where the feather comes from. We have koels here; love them, especially the way they dart across the road just when the car is about to go past. Nice capture.
February 19th, 2011  
I think I've seen the male, it has a very distinctive call doesn't it?
February 19th, 2011  
Love the photo, magnificent bird
February 19th, 2011  
She does look a bit shady.. I'd have pulled her feathers out too >.> Great shot!
February 19th, 2011  
great shot, I don't think I've seen these birds before
February 19th, 2011  
This happens with blue jays also. They do just the same and you will find the babies being raised by another type of bird.
Your shots are amazing. I really enjoy them.
February 19th, 2011  
She is quite lovely, and it does look like a match to the feathers. That's interesting about the Koels, and how the other birds will raise another bird's offspring. So although they are pretty to look at, their parenting skills are seriously lacking...
February 19th, 2011  
amazing capture
February 19th, 2011  
Excellent shot of this lady K-she looks like she would win in a scrap! I love learning about your unusual (to me) birds!
February 19th, 2011  
Spectacular, Jason!
February 19th, 2011  
@frameit - Thanks Tracy, I'm no ornithologist but I have always been the type to ask "why?", so I pick up bits of info from time to time...

@murnane - thank you Marg, in the eastern end of your state, you should find one or two, but it would be a great find! They are migratory ; and at this time of year, they would be starting to think about flying back to SE Asia, and even as far as India.

@girlie - we get a very similar behaviour from the Pheasant Coucals, which will nest in the Cane Fields. Their ungainly flight in front of cars is borderline suicidal!

@bella_ss - Yes! Some people get really annoyed at their voice. The males will sit and call out "Peeeee-urkkk, peeee-urkk" all hours of the day and night. The males are black as coal and the red eye is quite prominent.

@jenrobcarr - Thanks Jennifer! :)

@buggus - LOL! I will continue to think of her now as the "shady-bird"...

@littlec - you may certainly have heard their voice down in that corner of the state, I'm fairly sure...

@maggie2 - Thanks Margaret, I will try to get a shot of a Channel Billed Cuckoo which is the largest of the "parasitic" birds. Hard to get the photo, because every other bird will chase them away! And I did not know that about Bluejays, thanks :)

@aj1268 - some would say they are have the best parenting skills, in let someone else do it. Perhaps? A few years back I visited a Province in PNG where the people there do not raise their own offspring, the Parents there will raise other children but not their own.

@lmasinton - thank you Lael :)

@hillcrest - at around 45cm from head to tail, she is quite a long bird, and larger then the average!

@indiannie_jones - thank you Annie :)
February 19th, 2011  
What a magnificent bird and photo. I have taken pictures of birds in trees and know that it is difficult due to the shadows. You did a great job with this shot. Thank you for teaching me about these birds. I have not seen (or heard of) many of these birds.
February 20th, 2011  
@bobfoto That is absolutely fascinating! I could not even imagine doing it, but I guess it takes a village to raise a child...
February 20th, 2011  
@daisy - thanks Kathryn, I hear what you are saying about shadows! Oh boy, it is tough to get a clear shot with no leaves and sticks and also clear sunlight on the whole 45cm bird and then not be underneath so all you are taking is a photo of its underside. please keep mouth closed when in this position.
February 20th, 2011  
@aj1268 - It is strange of the 20 (some will say 22) Provinces of PNG, it is only the one that will raise the children of others. And it still happens today! It is a very interesting custom for sure.
February 20th, 2011  
@bobfoto I imagine that they are a very compassionate group of people. Trusting others will raise your child, and raising another's child. It makes for a very trusting community. But still...
February 20th, 2011  
what a beautiful shot of this one!
February 21st, 2011  
Awesome shot! How do you know so much about these birds? I can imagine a big bird being fed by little ones lol
February 21st, 2011  
@aj1268 - Wow, compassion and PNGeans in the same sentence... sorry Paula. The people of PNG are amazing, and some of the villages have only seen westerners in the past 50 years now, and some only see a handful of foreigners (and I mean not from their village) each year. It is such a remote and diverse country. But they can be very territorial about their land and then clans. Have I shared my PNG flickr link?

@molizard - thank you molizard. :)

@amz87 - A curious mind I guess... I also often ask why, and when no-one answers, I go read a book.
February 21st, 2011  
@bobfoto Don't tease...share! Just goes to show how little I know about Australia and all of its provinces, customs, and cultures. But surely they are compassionate in an isolated sense? I'm sure to outsiders they can be fierce, but it just seems that raising another's child as your own would teach compassion for all in the community. Am I far off with that assumption, or maybe that's an unknown because they don't like outsiders...
February 21st, 2011  
@aj1268 - Many years ago, PNG was a state of Australia, but it now has independence since 1975. It is an Island to the North of us, and is part of the second largest Island on the globe.

Here you will find some pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pomfotos/
February 21st, 2011  
@bobfoto Am checking them out now, but I have a question: How many Flickr accounts do you have?
February 21st, 2011  
@bobfoto Those are your photos, right? They are absolutely amazing! Thank you so much for sharing!
February 21st, 2011  
Heheee! What a capture, what an interesting looking bird, so colourful. Loves it.
February 22nd, 2011  
@aj1268 - 3. I believe I pay enough to my internet provider... I shouldn't have to pay more, so once I hit the flickr limit... I create a new account.

And yeah they are my photos except for one or two if I remember rightly....

@jupiterjanes - Cheers Sarah :) Thanks :D
February 22nd, 2011  
@bobfoto You are an amazing photographer. Those are great!
February 22nd, 2011  
@aj1268 - awww shucks... thanks Paula, PNG has a dear place in my heart, the people are wonderful, the scenery is amazing, the ability to achieve is well yeah pretty tough... but it does work, and the people are fantastic... just their government is found wanting at times.

I learned so much as a photographer over there. You are never ever given enough time to play around with settings... everywhere is keep moving, don't become a target, get the shot of the bird and lets move on... You need to think with your camera before even turning it on!
February 23rd, 2011  
@bobfoto Well I must say that you caught on pretty quickly. You could make a book out of your photographs...both animals and the portraits you have captured. Is this something hat you do for a living? Part of your job to go to these places and photograph? Very fortunate to be able to go out and do what you love, and I must say I'm a little envious. But I guess it helps that I get to see the world through your eyes.
February 23rd, 2011  
@aj1268 - definitely part of my job is to go to these places... the camera I just take along for the journey. Although many of the shots including 99% here are taken during my down time. It would become obsessive if I were to take my camera to work each day!
February 23rd, 2011  
@bobfoto For this not being your true occupation, you are really great at it. And I'm so serious about the book. You should really consider this. Your photos are fantastic, and so is your ability to capture it!
February 23rd, 2011  
Prettier? This is one ugly bird. Great shot though!
February 24th, 2011  
@aj1268 - thank you Paula... I dream about a book oneday...
February 24th, 2011  
@emeraldboots - You should see the Male, he looks the same but just black feathers... at least the lady has some interest!
February 24th, 2011  
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