Courtship feeding in Asian Koel

on 19th February 2010

Samson Tan of manta’s experience… had the good fortune to photograph the courtship feeding of the Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopacea). This seldom-witnessed feeding occurred at the Singapore Botanic Gardens on 16th February 2010 (left).

Asian Koels are extremely shy birds, often heard but seldom seen. The bird will always move behind some foliage to avoid being noticed. And seldom is the male and the female spotted together. Thus to observe them together and in courtship feeding is a rare sight indeed.

Payne (1997) reports: “In a number of brood-parasitic cuckoos, including the Spotted Cuckoo and other members of the genus Clamator, the male, having attracted a mate by calling, will then offer her a caterpillar. This mate-feeding is not infrequently followed by copulation.” Payne (2005) quotes Lamba (1969) and Higgins (1999) as mentioning courtship feeding in the Asian Koel. But we are not aware of reports of such behaviour for this region.

Higgins, P. J. (ed.), 1999. Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic birds. Vol. 4, Parrots to dollarbirds. Oxford University Press, London.
2. Lamba, B. S., 1969. The nidification of some common Indian birds – part 12. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, 66: 72-80.
3. Payne, R.B., 1997. Family Cuculidae (cucoos). In: del Hoyo, J., A. Elliott & J. Sargatal (eds.), Handbook of the birds of the world. Vol. 4. Sandgrouse to Cuckoos. Lynx Editions, Barcelona. Pp.508-607.
4. Payne, R.B., 2005. The cuckoos. Oxford University Press. 618 pp.

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.

Other posts by YC Wee

One Response

  1. Have you ever considered publishing an ebook or guest authoring on other websites? I have a blog centered on the same ideas you discuss and would really like to have you share some stories/information. I know my audience would appreciate your work. If you are even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an email.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Overall visits (since 2005)

Live visitors
Visitors Today

Clustrmaps (since 2016)