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Malkoha, green

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa
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Malkoha, Green

Unread post by jonty1 » Fri Aug 08, 2008 4:32 pm

Green Malkoha: (Ceuthmochares aereus)


Approximately 33cm in length and sexes alike. Has an unmistakenly bright, yellow bill, and olive-grey head, slowly becoming dark and metallic green on the wings and long tail. The underparts are pale greyish-green, and the eyes are cromson, with green skin around the eye.

Forests of lowland and equatorial Africa from Senegal t Kenya, extending south down east coast into Southern Africa. Frequents thickets, creepers and tangles on edge of forest and areas of forest regrowth.

Feed mainly on insects, such as beetles, grasshoppers, and caterpillars. They also feed on tree frogs.

Little is known about the breeding biology, although it is thought to be monogamous and territorial. The nest is seen to be a flimsy platform of twigs lined with leaves, and placed high in a thicket. Eggs are white, and approx 30x23 mm in length. Approx 2-4 eggs are laid.
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Malkoha, green

Unread post by Johan van Rensburg » Tue Oct 15, 2013 7:23 pm

Because of its somber colour the Green Malkoha, Ceuthmochares australis, is probably the most elusive species for birders to spot in South Africa, creeping slowly through the vegetation like a giant chameleon with wings. In fact, if one compiled a ‘big 5’ elusive species list this uncommon resident will feature near the top. However, if you are sneaky and patient and you own a sound byte of its call, you can entice it out of the thickest part of the bush onto the fringes where it will sit quietly trying to pinpoint the competition… Problem is you cannot predetermine exactly where it will show. Murphy's law says it will be on the wrong side of the sun!


The name is quite misleading because although its wings, tail and lower back has a greenish sheen, the overall plumage colour is grey. Like the coucals that the Malkoha is distantly related to, it is a skulker that inhabits the vines and tangles of forests and forest margins.
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