Red-faced Malkohas

The Red-faced Malkoha, Phaenicophaeus pyrrhocephalus, is a member of the cuckoo order of birds, the Cuculiformes, which also includes the roadrunners, the anis, and the Hoatzin.

It is endemic to Sri Lanka. The Red-faced Malkoha is a bird of dense forests, where it can be difficult to see despite its size and color. It nests in a tree, the typical clutch being 2-3 eggs.

Malkohas Information and Listing of SpeciesMalkohas Photo Gallery


This is a large species at 46 cm. 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. Males and females look alike, 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 eats berries.

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


  • BirdLife International (2004). . 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. Retrieved on 11 May 2006. Database entry includes a range map, a brief justification of why this species is vulnerable, and the criteria used
  • Birds of India by Grimmett, Inskipp and Inskipp, ISBN 0-691-04910-6
Photo of author

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