Asian Koel and the papaya fruits

posted in: Feeding-plants, Hornbills | 0

Luce Sam’s dramatic image of the female Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopacea) flying in to feed on the Papaya (Carica papaya) fruit is an important record of yet another fruit plant of the bird (below).

Note that the bunch of papayas on the plant shows fruits of different degrees of ripeness from green to overripe. And the koel zooms in on the ripest of the ripe.

The female Koel is normally well camouflaged with its brownish plumage with whitish streaks, spots and bars (above). The male on the other hand can be very conspicuous with its black plumage (below). Note that the eyes in both sexes are red.

According to Wells (1999): “Little information, except that fruit seems to be important.” Payne (1997, 2005) has a list of food plants that include the Papaya. BESG has a casual report on the koel eating papaya LINK but this is the first photographic documentation that we have, thanks to Luce Sam.

Luce Sam
July 2015

Payne, R.B., 1997. Family Cuculidae (cuckoos). 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.
2. Payne, R.B., 2005. The cuckoos. Oxford University Press. 618 pp.
3. Wells, D.R., 1999. The birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsular. Vol. I, Non-passerines. Academic Press, London. 648 pp.

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