The Chestnut-breasted malkoha, also known as the Cuckoo species, is often the center of attention for travelers due to their hilarious clown-like appearance. These birds belong to the Cuculidae family and are commonly found in Southeast Asia, including Borneo, the Philippines, eastern Java, and Myanmar. According to Wikipedia, the largest individuals can grow up to 49 cm (19 inches) in length. One of the reasons why these cuckoos have a clown-like look is because of their bright red face, pale eyes, and pale upper and red lower mandibles. Their coloration varies from dark glossy greenish above to rich chestnut-brown below. They move slowly and blend in with the thick foliage found in subtropical and tropical mangrove forests and moist lowland forests. Moreover, they venture into lowland and hill forests to forage alongside other species.
Male Chestnut-breasted malkohas typically have pale blue irises, while their female counterparts often have yellow ones. Despite this difference, both genders have similar feathers. Unlike most members of the cuckoo family, these birds do not lay their eggs in other birds’ nests. They build their own nests and raise their own young. The breeding season for these birds varies by region, lasting from August to December in Borneo and from January to September in Southeast Asia.
After pairing up, the male and female birds construct a nest using small branches and twigs. The nest has a diameter of about 35 cm (14 inches) and is lined with leaves in a cup-like depression that measures 11 cm (4.3 inches) in diameter and 5 cm (2.0 inches) deep. Matte white eggs that measure 34 x 28 mm are then laid and incubated by both parents. Usually, the eggs hatch after 13 days of being laid, and both parents take care of their young by feeding them. The chicks stay inside the nest for around 11 days before venturing out for the first time.
These creatures are known as Singaporeans, feeding on a variety of mall vertebrates such as lizards, frogs, beetles, bugs, crabs, and young birds. Due to their diverse diet, they do not lack essential nutrients and can easily reach their maximum size and reproduce healthily. The chestnut-breasted malkoha was first discovered and named by English scientist George Shaw in 1810 during his stay in western Java. Although it was once considered rare, this species is now quite common, with no documented threats to its existence or population decline.
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