Asian Koel Swallows and Regurgitates Ceram Palm Fruit

posted in: Feeding-plants | 6

“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

6 Responses

  1. Bird Ecology Study Group Black-shouldered Kite regurgitation or vomiting?

    […] According to the literature, regurgitation is part of the normal behavior of birds. When adults feed chicks or indulge in courtship feeding, food is forced out of the mouth, oesophagus or crop LINK. With the casting of a pellet, the compacted indigestible parts of the prey are forced out of the gizzard in the form of a pellet LINK. Regurgitation is also seen when a bird swallows a fruit and later ejects the seed LINK. […]

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