Pacific Koel
(Eastern Koel)

Sounds & Calls

Pacific Koel (Eudynamys orientalis)

Male Pacific Koel (Eudynamys orientalis)

The Pacific Koel (Eudynamys orientalis) is a large species of parasitic cuckoo which migrates to northern and eastern Australia to breed. It is also commonly referred to as the Eastern Koel.

This species was previously regarded as the same species as the Common Koel of south-east Asia and the Indian subcontinent [now called Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopaceus)], but recent taxonomic changes has resulted in them being split into two separate species. Both of these species are sometimes colloquially referred to as the ‘Rain Bird’ or ‘Storm Bird’. [Note: Channel-billed Cuckoos (Scythrops novaehollandiae) are also sometimes referred to as storm birds!]

The loud, repetitive ‘coo-ee’ song of the male Pacific Koel is a familiar sound of spring and early summer in eastern Australia. Males also make ‘rolling’ type phrases and female koels make a high-pitched shrieking ‘kik-kik-kik-kik’ notes often when interacting with a male.

Listen to Pacific Koel Sounds

This video contains several call types of the Pacific Koel and the audio samples below feature additional examples:
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Pacific Koel – Typical ‘coo-ee’ song


 XC295239 This first sample features the typical two note coo-ee advertising song of a male Pacific Koel. Recorded at dawn in Chaelundi National Park, NSW, Australia.

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Pacific Koel – Male rolling calls and female response


XC528792 This sample features the ‘rolling’ call of male Pacific Koels and harsh high-pitched shrieking responses from females. Recorded near Ravenshoe, Queensland, Australia. 

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Pacific Koel – Harsh shrieking calls


XC528794 This sample starts with a few bubbly calls soon followed by the harsh shrieking calls often given by female koels (immature birds may also give this call). Later in the track some male ‘rolling’ calls can also be heard along with the chuckles of a Laughing Kookaburra. Recorded near Ravenshoe, Queensland, Australia.