Bird up: TikToker challenges Asian koel to an early morning 'ku-oo' yell-off

PHOTO: Wikimedia Commons, TikTok/@berke_lium

Ah, the Asian koel. Even if you don’t know this cuckoo bird by name, you’d probably know it by its distinctively aggravating call: that loud 'ku-oo' sound waking you up early in the morning.

A woman has basically paid back the favour in kind by responding to one in its own language.

In a TikTok video posted by @berke_lium on Deepavali (Nov 14), the young woman engaged in a vocal back-and-forth with an Asian koel, going 'ku-oo' in progressively higher pitches.

Naturally, the bird won.


Hearing this at 8am hits different ##fyp ##singapore

♬ original sound - Berkley Pink

This would be a far more measured response than the man who responded to the bird calls back in April by basically yelling in utter frustration.

You guys ever hear someone get so frustrated at this birb before LOL (it's not me)

Posted by Melvan Yong on Thursday, April 2, 2020

That familiar din is in fact a mating call by male Asian koels, and it’s abhorred by enough people to garner its own section on the National Parks Board (NParks) website.

The board works with the National Environment Agency to actively prune trees, remove nests and food sources to discourage the birds from roosting in residential areas.

A protected species under the Wildlife Act, folks who can’t stand the bird calls can get in touch with the Animal & Veterinary Service.

“While there are Singaporeans who have been inconvenienced by calls of the Asian Koel, there are also others who enjoy the presence of such wildlife in our environment. We seek your understanding with regard to the management of the Asian Koel population,” noted NParks.