Asian Koel and Javan Myna

on 13th February 2007

On the afternoon of 3rd February 2007, I was alerted by the shrill call of a bird outside my windows. Curious, I went out into the garden to investigate.

There, perching on a branch of a Golden Penda (Xanthostemon chrysanthus) growing along the road outside was a female Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopacea). But it was not making any call, just sitting quietly on the branch. I looked around and spotted the source of the high shrill call.

It came from a Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus), perching a little higher and less than a metre away on the same tree (above). The myna was scolding the koel for more than five minutes. Both birds remained where they were, the koel simply did not bother about the scolding.

The koel must have arrived suddenly on the tree where the myna was. And the latter must have objected to its presence. There was no attempt at mobbing, only scolding.

My arrival ultimately saw the myna leaving the scene, but not the koel. This bird simply remained, not bothered by my presence and calmly sat on the branch for more than 15 minutes.


All it did was turn its head side to side every now and then (above left, below left). Once it did a 180 degrees turn, facing the opposite direction (above right). Then it defecated twice and yawned (below right).


The bird also stretched its wings and right leg, the left firmly holding on to the branch, resulting in the tail feathers fanning out (below left). After some time it stretched its wings, also resulting in the tail feathers fanning (below right).


After about 30 minutes the koel left its perch and flew off to the fruiting branch of the nearby Alexandra palm (Archontophoenix alexandrae) and feasted on the ripe fruits.

Input and images by YC.

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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