Blue Couas or Blue Madagascar Coucals

The Blue Coua or Blue Madagascar Coucal (Coua caerulea) is a non-parasitic cuckoo that occurs naturally on the island of Madagascar located off the southeastern coast of Africa.

Alternate (Global) Names

Chinese: ???? … Czech: Kukal modrý, kukalka modrá … Danish: Blå Silkegøg … Dutch: Blauwe Coua … German: Blaucoua, Blauer-Seidenkuckuck, Blau-Seidenkuckuck … Estonian: sini-siidkägu … Finnish: Sinikuku … French: Coua bleu … Italian: Coua azzurro, Cua blu … Japanese: aojikakkou, ???????, ??????? … Malagasy: Mariha, Taitso, Taitso mainty, Taitso manga … Norwegian: Blåkoa … Polish: kuja blekitna, kuja b??kitna … Russian: ??????? ?????????????? ??????? … Slovak: koa modrá … Spanish: Cúa Azul … Swedish: Blåcoua

Article (in English and German): Captive Breeding of Couas at the Weltvogelpark Walsrode in Germany / Aufzucht von Seidenkuckucken im Weltvogelpark Walsrode


The Blue Couas are mostly found in eastern and northwestern Madagascar. They favor subtropical or tropical dry or moist lowland forests, mangroves and moist montanes.

They are still quite common within their range; however, these beautiful birds are being trapped and hunted, which puts them at risk of extinction in the future.

Blue Coua or Blue Madagascar Coucal (Coua caerulea)

Blue Coua


The Blue Couas measure between 18.9–19.7 inches (48–50 cm) in length, including the long tail.

They weigh around 8.2 oz or 235 g.

The plumage is dark blue above and below.

They have a patch of bare, oval, blue-colored skin around each eye and black bills.

Like all other members of the Cuckoo family, they have large feet with reversible third toes.


The diet consists mainly of various insects, small reptiles and fruits, and likely seeds.

Breeding / Nesting:

Unlike cuckoos, Blue Couas build their own nests out of twigs and leaves, and incubate their own white-colored eggs. A clutch usually consists of 1 egg. They also raise their own young. The nests are usually well hidden in trees or bushes.

Throat Markings of coua chicks: Blue Coua (right) and Giant Coua (left)
Blue Coua chick (Coua caerulea) - 25 days old
Blue Coua chick (Coua caerulea) - 10 days old
Blue Coua
Photo of author

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