Order: Cuculiformes

Family: Cuculidae

Scientific name: Phaenicophaeus viridirostris, Jerdon, 1840

IUCN Red list status- Least Concern

Did you know?

  1. Blue Faced Malkoha is also known as Small Green-billed Malkoha


Blue Faced Malkoha is35- 40 cm long and weigh 75-80 grams. The upperparts are dark greenish gray. The head is bluish gray. The wings are dark glossy bluish green. The throat, breast and belly are pale greyish green. The tail is long and graduated. The upper tail is dark green with white tips. The black eyes are surrounded by a large bluish patch. The bill is pale green and feet are gray. Both the sexes look similar. The juveniles have dull plumage and barring on upperparts.


The diet of the Blue-faced Malkoha consists mainly of insects. A variety of insects like mantis, locusts, grasshoppers, cicadas, beetles, moths, termites and caterpillars are their primary food. Sometimes they eat berries and drupes (a fleshy fruit with thin skin and a central stone containing the seed) also. They are mostly arboreal and occasionally they feed on the ground. Forage time is mainly day and it is done solitarily or in pairs.


Blue-faced Malkoha have moderate forest dependence. The natural habitat of these species moist lowland forests, secondary forests, dry and moist shrub lands, thorny scrubs and bushes and open forests. In India it is distributed in the peninsular region from Gujarat to Odisha and south to Kanyakumari. They are also found in Sri Lanka also.

Reproductive Behaviour

Blue-faced malkoha species breed throughout the year, with a peak period from March to May. These birds are monogamous. Their nesting sites include thorny bushes and scrubs. The nest is a bulky saucer made of twigs and rootlets lined with green leaves. Normally two eggs are laid. The incubation period and the parental duties are not correctly determined.


The call is a croaking “kraa” sound.

Related Species and Sub Species

  • Sirkeer Malkoha (Taccocua leschenaultia).
  • Green Billed Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus tristis).
  • Chestnut Breasted Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus curvirostris).
  • Red Billed Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus javanicus).
  • Yellow Billed Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus calyorhynchus).

Migratory Behaviour

Common Resident