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Red-capped Coua - BirdForum Opus

Photo by edenwatcher
Ampijoroa, Ankarafantsika National Park, Madagascar, October 2010

Alternative name: Red-capped Madagascar Coucal

Coua ruficeps


Subspecies olivaceiceps
Photo by balticbird
Ifaty, Madagascar


  • Light greenish brown upperparts
  • Rufous front and top of head
  • Blue skin around eye with black line below
  • Dark brown to purplish tail with white edge
  • White throat, tawny lower throat
  • Purplish light chest
  • Pale rufous to whitish belly
  • Black bill and feet
  • olivaceiceps is paler, the crown is light brown-green

Sexes alike. Juveniles dull with light brown crown, juveniles of olivaceiceps with barred back, grey crown and breast barred grey on white.


Endemic to western and southwestern Madagascar.
Common also in degraded wooded habitats and obviously relatively adaptable to habitat modification.



There are 2 subspecies:

  • C. r. ruficeps:
  • C. r. olivaceiceps:
  • Lowlands of south-western Madagascar


Dry forests and moist lowland forests. Also in second growth.
Occurs from sea-level up to 850m.


A terrestrial species.


Feeds on insects, takes also fruits.
Forages on the ground.


Breeding season from November to December. The nest is a shallow bowl made of thin branches, creepers and bark. Lays 2 eggs.


This is 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

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