Chestnut-bellied Malkoha

Scientific Name: Phaenicophaeus sumatranus

Malay Name: Cenuk Perut Coklat

Chinese Name: 棕腹地鹃

Range: Found from the Thai-Malay Peninsula to Sumatra and Borneo

Taxonomy: Monotypic.

Size: 40-40.5 cm

Identification: Adult is distinctively looking with greyish head and mantle, metallic bluish-grey wings and tail, greyish breast and chestnut rest of underparts, greenish bill and orangey facial skin. Juvenile resembles adult but has shorter tail and duller overall plumage, bill and facial skin.

Habitat: Forest and forest edge.

Behaviour/Ecology: Despite being a member of the cuckoo family, malkohas do not lay their eggs in the nests of other birds but instead construct nests and raise their own chicks.

Local Status: Uncommon resident

Conservation Status: Near Threatened (BirdLife International 2016)

Location: Central Catchment Forest, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Dairy Farm Nature Park and Kent Ridge Park.

Featured articles:


BirdLife International. (2016). Phaenicophaeus sumatranus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016. Accessed on 1 January 2023

Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.

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