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Red-faced Malkoha – Sri Lanka

Red-faced Malkoha – Sri Lanka

by | Jan 7, 2022 | Birds | 0 comments

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Conservation Status













P. pyrrhocephalus


P. pyrrhocephalus

Binomial Name


About Red-faced Malkoha

The Red-faced Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus pyrrhocephalus) is a stunning bird with a striking red face and a unique vocalization. As a member of the cuckoo family, it is known for its long, curved bill and distinctive appearance. This bird is endemic to Sri Lanka, where it can be found in the island’s lush forests and wooded areas.

Appearance and Range of Red-faced Malkoha

The Red-faced Malkoha is a medium-sized bird that measures around 35-45 cm in length and weighs between 120-170 grams. It has black and green plumage, with bright red facial skin and a long, curved bill. The bird’s long tail is also marked with white and green spots, adding to its distinctive appearance.

The Sri Lanka Red-faced Malkoha is endemic to Sri Lanka, meaning it is found nowhere else in the world. It is primarily found in the island’s forests and wooded areas, particularly in the wet zone. The bird is known to prefer areas with dense undergrowth and is often found near water sources.

Where You Can Find Red-faced Malkoha

Behavior and Ecology

The Sri Lanka Red-faced Malkoha is primarily arboreal, meaning it spends most of its time in trees and shrubs. It is also known for its unique vocalization, which consists of a series of deep, low-pitched “hoo-hoo” calls. The bird is believed to be monogamous, with pairs defending territories and building nests in the dense undergrowth of Sri Lanka’s forests.

The diet of the Sri Lanka Red-faced Malkoha consists primarily of insects, although it may also consume small reptiles and other small animals. It is known to hunt by stalking its prey through the undergrowth, using its long, curved bill to snatch insects from the foliage.

Red-faced Malkoha - Sri Lanka

Red-faced Malkoha – Sri Lanka | Image Credits: en.wikipedia.org

Conservation Status and Threats

The Sri Lanka Red-faced Malkoha is considered a species of Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), although its population status and distribution are not well-known. The bird is not currently considered to be threatened by habitat loss or other factors, although this may change as more information is gathered about the species’ ecology and distribution.

Conservation efforts for the Sri Lanka Red-faced Malkoha are focused on better understanding the species’ habitat requirements and population status, as well as identifying key areas for conservation and habitat protection. Efforts are also underway to raise awareness about the bird’s unique ecology and the importance of conserving Sri Lanka’s rich biodiversity.


The Sri Lanka Red-faced Malkoha is a unique and fascinating species that represents an important part of Sri Lanka’s avian biodiversity. With its striking red facial skin and unique vocalization, it is a true marvel of nature. Although much remains unknown about its behavior and ecology, conservation efforts are underway to better understand the species and protect its remaining habitat. By raising awareness about the importance of conserving Sri Lanka’s rich biodiversity, we can help ensure that the Sri Lanka Red-faced Malkoha and other unique species continue to thrive for generations to come.


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