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In spring, Tamborine Mountain residents may notice an extra bird voice added to the usual chorus. A monotonous koo-el, koo-el, koo-el is the call of a Common Koel (Eudynamys scolopacea) also known as the Stormbird or Rainbird. The call is used to demonstrate territory and attract a mate. The name of the bird itself, koel, is derived from a Hindi word based on the sound of the bird’s call. In Brisbane the name of a suburb was derived from the Aboriginal word for Koel - Tuwong or Toowong, which was also an imitation of the call of the Koel. Although the Koel is a diurnal bird it can sometimes call at night.

With a length of 39-46 centimetres, the koel is quite a large bird but it can also be shy and difficult to see so it is more often heard than seen.

The male and female have quite different plumage. The male is glossy black while the female has a black head and neck, its back and wings are brown with fine white spots and its chest is buff with fine black bars.

The Common Koel feeds on fruit such as figs and may also take caterpillars and insects. It feeds in the canopy of forests, parks and gardens and will occasionally join flocks of other species such as pigeons.

The Common Koel is a long distance migrant, which divides its time between New Guinea and northern and eastern Australia (south to Eastern Victoria). In September/October it arrives in Australia from New Guinea for its breeding season.

The Common Koel is a cuckoo and is a brood parasite. The male and female only appear to have a short-term pair bonding. The female lays one egg in the nest of the host bird, often Wattlebirds, Friarbirds or Magpie Larks, sometimes she returns to feed the nestling. The Koel nestling does not always eject other hatchlings, but it is the largest, noisiest and most demanding nestling in the nest, and its much smaller “parents” must work hard to satisfy its appetite.

In March the Koels leave Australia to return to New Guinea, they travel long distances. A Koel ringed in New South Wales was located in New Guinea 2950 kms away.

The young Koels usually leave for New Guinea shortly after the adult birds. This is a remarkable journey since the young birds do not have any parental guidance or escort to make this first long journey to New Guinea.

The Common Koel’s distinctive calls are a reminder that summer is not too far away.

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Why does attentiveness to nature matter? In a very fundamental sense, we are what we pay attention to. Paying heed to beauty, grace, and everyday miracles promotes a sense of possibility and coherence that runs deeper and truer than the often illusory commercial, social "realities" advanced by mainstream contemporary culture. ... Our attention is precious, and what we choose to focus it on has enormous consequences. What we choose to look at, and to listen to--these choices change the world. As Thich Nhat Hanh has pointed out, we become the bad television programs that we watch. A society that expends its energies tracking the latest doings of the celebrity couple is fundamentally distinct from one that watches for the first arriving spring migrant birds, or takes a weekend to check out insects in a mountain stream, or looks inside flowers to admire the marvelous ingenuities involved in pollination. The former tends to drag culture down to its lowest commonalities; the latter can lift us up in a sense of unity with all life. The Way of Natural History, edited by Thomas Lowe Fleischner and published by Trinity University Press (Texas)