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Chestnut-breasted Malkoha - BirdForum Opus

Photo by 996sps
Sepilok, Sabah, Malaysia, May 2009
Phaenicophaeus curvirostris


Size:-35cm including tail
Has entire chestnut underparts and a lack of white tip to tail feathers. Upperparts dark iridescent green, including most of the uppertail. Has broad chestnut terminal band on upper tail. Sides of entire tail narrowly marked chestnut.
Orbital skin red.
Male - Pale blue eyes
Female-Eyes Golden to yellowish white

Photo by Dr Manjeet Singh
F.R.I.M. , Sg Buloh, Selangor, Malaysia, September 2008


Southeast Asia: found in Tenasserim (Myanmar) and the Malay Peninsula south to Greater Sundas, Java, Bali, Borneo and Palawan (Philippines).



There are 6 subspecies[1]:

  • P. c. singularis:
  • P. c. oeneicaudus:
  • Mentawi Islands (off south-western Sumatra)
  • P. c. curvirostris:
  • Western and central Java
  • P. c. deningeri:
  • Eastern Java and Bali
  • P. c. microrhinus:
  • P. c. harringtoni:
  • Southern Philippines (Palawan, Balabac, Busuanga, Culion, Calauit)

An additional subspecies erythrognathus is generally considered invalid[2].


Mangroves (on Pulau Langkawi only), forests, forests edges, plantations and wooded gardens.


Usually found in pairs in the Middle storey. Sometimes forages low in dense scrub. Generally unobtrusive, perching for long periods in the foliage.


  1. Clements, JF. 2009. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2009. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.
  2. Avibase

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