Asian Koel – Attempts To Mate?

“Once again, the apparent conflict calls of Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopacea) was in the air in my condominium yesterday morning. It was about 8.30 am when I heard the commotion. Thinking that it was coming from the Trumpet Tree (Tabebuia rosea) in front of me, I quickly switched on my camera to document the calls, which were that of a male that sounded like kow-kow-kow and kwok-kwok-kwok, and that of a female that sounded like high pitch gig-gig. As it turned out, they were found in an unknown small- to medium-sized tree of about 15 feet tall on the right of the Trumpet Tree.

“The male was located, exhibiting typical head, body, wing and tail movements in such situations. The female was next found, though almost completely hidden in the foliage but detected by its jerks. As the male advanced closer to the female, they continued with the posturing and vocalisation.

“In the end, when the birds were just next to each other, I found a spot which offered fairly good view of them. At one stage, it appeared that the male launched either an attack or an unsuccessful attempt to mount the female. Unfortunately, my camera battery ran out of juice shortly after, and the camera auto-shutdown. Continuing my observation with uncorrected eyesight, the male was seen to ‘attack’ again twice. As they tussled, they tumbled down to eye level together, right in front of me before parting way. The male on my left and the female on my right – so close that I could almost feel the air turbulence – a pretty exciting experience!

“Nonetheless, the question of whether it was a case of male aggression or failed attempts to mate remained unclear.

“The edited video can be viewed above.”

Sun Chong Hong
Singapore
29th May 2013

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