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Red-faced Malkoha

From Opus

Revision as of 13:50, 21 September 2011 by Wintibird (Talk | contribs)

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Phaenicophaeus pyrrhocephalus
Photo by Steve GSinharaja, Sri Lanka, July, 2009

Photo by Steve G
Sinharaja, Sri Lanka, July, 2009



A large Malkohe (46cm) with a long graduated tail:

  • Dark green back
  • Green edged with white uppertail
  • White belly and undertail, undertail barred black
  • Black throat and crown, white lower face
  • Large red patch around eye
  • Green bill

Sexes similar, juveniles duller


Endemic to Sri Lanka.
Regularly seen at Sinharaja and other remaining rain forests.



Found in tall rain forest. Also in scattered riverine habitats in the dry zone.


Feeds on insects (caterpillars, giant stick insects, mantises) and small vertebrates (eg lizards). May occasionally take berries.
Usually seen solitary, in pairs or small flocks. Joins bird waves.
A shy inhabitant of the tree canopy.
Breeds in the first half of the year (and probably also August to September). The nest is a shallow saucer made of grass, twigs and roots. It's placed in a high bush in a forest area with thick undergrowth. Lays 2 to 3 eggs.

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