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GALLERIES > BIRDS > CUCULIFORMES > CUCULIDAE > RED-FACED MALKOHA [Phaenicophaeus pyrrhocephalus]


Red-faced Malkoha Picture
 
 

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SPECIES INFO

The Red-faced Malkoha, Phaenicophaeus pyrrhocephalus, is a member of the cuckoo order of birds, the Cuculiformes.

Description The Red-faced Malkoha is endemic to Sri Lanka

This is a large species at 46 cm with a long graduated tail. Its back is dark green, and the uppertail is green edged with white. The belly and undertail are white, the latter being barred black. The crown and throat are black, and the lower face white. There is a large red patch around the eye and the bill is green. Sexes are similar, but juveniles are much duller.

The Red-faced Malkoha takes a variety of insects including caterpillars, giant stick instecs, mantises and small vertebrates such as lizard. It occasionally may eat berries but this needs confirmation.

Unlike most cuckoos, this is a quiet species, making only the odd soft grunt.

Distribution

It is endemic to Sri Lanka although some old records have apparently erroneously referred to its presence in southern India.. According to Baker (1934), it is found in the 'South of Travancore, where it was obtained by Stewart together with its nests'. Later, Biddulph reported a Red-faced Malkoha in Madurai district, southern Tamil Nadu. Thilo Hoffmann later pointed out that this record would not stand up to a modern records committee, and it is now best disregarded.

Habitat

The Red-faced Malkoha is a bird of dense forests, where it can be difficult to see despite its size and colour.

Breeding biology

It nests in a tree, the typical clutch being 2-3 eggs.

Behaviour

They are found in nearly half of the mixed-species foraging flocks in the Sinharaja area.





                                     



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