• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    Register for an account to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Giant Coua - BirdForum Opus

Alternative name: Giant Madagascar Coucal

Coua gigas


Photo by balticbird
Kirindy, Madagascar

58-62cm. A large, terrestrial coua.

  • Dull olive-grey upperparts
  • Black face
  • Glossy blackish tail with white tips
  • Creamy white throat and upper breast, tan lower breast
  • Rufous to black belly
  • Blue bare skin around eye, pink behind eye, brown to red-brown iris
  • Black bill

Sexes similar. Juveniles are duller, have a pale bill and fawn spots on scapulars and wing.


Endemic to Madagascar, thinly distributed in the west and south.
Fairly common in good forest which is rapidly vanishing in Madagascar. Very common at small Berenty Private Reserve.


This is a monotypic species[1].


Found in deciduous forest, gallery forest and thorn scrub.
Shares the habitat with Coquerel's Coua, Red-capped Coua and Running Coua.
From sea-level up to 800m.



Feeds on insects, occasionally takes seeds.
Forages on the ground among dead leaves.
Usually seen in pairs, sometimes singly or in small family groups.


The nest is a bowl made of twigs, bark and large leaves. It's palced 3 to 10m above the ground in a tree. Lays 3 eggs.


A resident species.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, B.L. Sullivan, C. L. Wood, and D. Roberson. 2013. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.8., with updates to August 2013. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliot, and J Sargatal, eds. 1997. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 4: Sandgrouse to Cuckoos. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8487334221

Recommended Citation

External Links