March 1 - 7, 2015: Issue 204
When seen, the male Common Koel is easily identified by its entirely glossy black plumage, tinged with blue and green, and striking red eye. The female has glossed brown upperparts, heavily spotted with white, and a black crown. The underparts are generally buff-cream with numerous fine black bars. Young birds resemble the adult female, but have considerably more buff and a dark eye. The Common Koel is a member of the cuckoo family. Adults are rather shy and they are heard much more than seen. In contrast to the adults, fledglings can be very conspicuous as they beg loudly for food from their foster parents.
Most Koels migrate from Australia to New Guinea and probably eastern Indonesia and even further north, but some remain in northern Australia. During breeding season, they are found in northern and eastern Australia, south to about Nowra, New South Wales, although occasional birds are encountered further south.
In late September and early October each year, Common Koels arrive in Australia from their northern winter homes to breed. The Koels leave southern Australia in about March.