Koels Attacked at Viang Yonok – Just a Myna Incident!


Excuse the terrible pun but I just received a very interesting e-mail from Ian Smith, of Viang Yonok Hotel in Chiang Saen, which I thought I would share. 

We have noticed how agressive the Common Mynas are. Every day they dive bomb one of our cats when she walks out into the garden. At first we thought it was just because she was in the vicinity of their nest, even though this is high up in the roof our our entrance gateway. Then this got worse until they divebomb her wherever she is in the garden. They even do it to the dogs sometimes. 30 minutes ago, our gardener came running with a female Koel which was being attacked by two Mynas. He rescued her and I’ve put her in a cardboard box for a couple of hours. A male was also attacked but is still in the tree.

Here are the two pictures Ian sent me.

 What is the Explanation for this?

These two birds appear to be juveniles, the first a male and the second being a female. Koels are nest parasitic in the same way as Cuckoos, and Mynas are often used as host species; in early May I saw 2 male Koels being fed by a pair of Black-collared Starlings close to Kaeng Krachan National Park. It is strange that the Mynas which could be the host parents were seen attacking the Koels as once the host species has accepted the parasite they usually take care of them until fully fledged, indeed the two males I saw being fed were in virtual adult plumage. It could be possible that another species has hosted these Koels and the Mynas recognise them as nest parasites, although I would have thought that Ian would have seen the real host parents,  or that as the chicks get close to adult plumage the Mynas have realised their mistake.

From Ian’s description of the Mynas attacking cats and dogs it certainly seems like he has a particularly aggressive pair on his property. Another example of what makes birdwatching in Thailand so interesting.

, , ,

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.

Free WordPress Themes