Asian Koel and the papaya fruits

on 14th July 2015

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.

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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