Asian Koel Swallows and Regurgitates Ceram Palm Fruit

on 20th January 2015

“About a year ago I posted my observations of a male Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopacea) swallowing the ripe fruit of Ceram Palm (Rhopaloblaste ceramica) LINK.

“Recently the same palms in my condo were fruiting again. This time round a female Asian Koel was a regular visitor in the morning. It usually announced its arrival with the signature shrieking kwik-kwik-kwik call, similar to the one as recorded @14″ of the video titled “Female Asian Koel Sings” LINK.

“In the morning of 31st Dec 2014, I was alerted to its presence once again. It was all quiet and peaceful then. I saw it taking 4 ripe fruits and stayed in the same spot to digest the food (top). Following a ‘long wait’ of slightly less than 30 minutes, it began to regurgitate the cleaned seeds, averaging at an interval of about 1 min per seed (below). Altogether 5 seeds were cast. However, I only managed to record 4 instances because I was moving my tripod to a better spot when the Koel cast the first seed.

“With the stomach empty, the Koel went through a second round of feeding, taking in another 4 fruits before resting again.

“I counted myself very fortunate as, given the peaceful environment, the koel stayed long enough for me to observe and document the complete cycle of swallowing the ripe fruit and the subsequent regurgitation of the clean seeds. Had it been disturbed, whatever the reason and flew away, I would not know how long it took for the crop to strip the pulp surrounding the seed. On the other hand, had it flew away, it would have dispersed the seeds elsewhere. And I suspect that in our highly urbanised environment, this is more often the case for garden birds that swallow small fruits whole.”

The edited video may be viewed here:

Sun Chong Hong
11th January 2015

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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