An image of the Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopacea) eating the fruits of Pipturus argenteus (Family Urticaceae) was recently submitted by bird photographer Chan Yoke Meng (left top).
This is a shrub with unisexual flowers and small, black fruits in a white foamy and fleshy receptacle (left bottom). The entry in Keng (1990) states: “A fairly recent introduced weed of the Pacific Isls., found in waste places in city areas.”
Unlike most cuckoos that feed on insects, this koel feeds largely on fruits. This is another example of birds adapting to exotic plants in their search for food.
Input and image of koel by Meng and Melinda Chan; Angie Ng helped in identifying the plant and KF Yap supplied the images of the plant and reported that he has once seen an Asian Koel eating a ripe papaya (Carica papaya) fruit.
Keng, H. (1990). The concise flora of Singapore. Singapore University Press.
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