The Enigmatic Chestnut-Breasted Malkoha: A Bird with a Dazzling Red Mask and Keen Watchful Eyes!

With its striking red mask and pale eyes, this bird boasts a unique and unmistakable appearance that almost resembles that of a comical clown. The contrast between its upper and lower mandibles only adds to the overall effect, making it truly stand out in the avian world.

Say hello to the Chestnut-breasted malkoha! This captivating avian sports a spectacular chestnut hued breast. It’s certainly worthwhile to delve deeper into the characteristics of this distinct species. So, let’s explore!

The Cuculidae family houses a distinct type of cuckoo known as the chestnut-breasted malkoha. These birds are known for their one-of-a-kind appearance, with an average length of 42-49 cm. Their most striking feature is their large pale yellow upper mandible, which curves downwards, and their darker red lower mandible. Additionally, they have a distinctive bare red patch of rough skin encircling each eye. The chestnut-breasted malkoha has a grey head, while its wings are dark green and gradually fade to blue as the bird grows older.

The bird possesses a rich chestnut hue on its underbelly and rump, accompanied by striking dark grey feet. Interestingly, this feature is shared by both male and female birds, though they have unique characteristics that set them apart. Specifically, the male bird boasts a light blue iris, whereas the female bird’s is a vibrant yellow.

The unique species of animals mentioned in this context are exclusive to Thailand and Myanmar, but they can also be spotted in various Southeast Asian nations like Borneo, Sumatra, Malaysia, Java, Bali Indonesia, and Palawan in the Philippines.

You can easily catch sight of these beautiful winged creatures in various environments such as moist tropical forests, mangrove marshes, dry tropical shrublands, restored areas, rural backyards, and farmland.

The chestnut-breasted malkoha has a fondness for insects such as caterpillars, grasshoppers, cicadas, beetles, cockroaches, and spiders. However, they are not too selective in their eating habits, and they also relish crabs, lizards, frogs, and even hatchlings of other birds.

Unlike typical cuckoos, this particular species exhibits nurturing behavior towards their own young and refrains from damaging other birds’ nests. The mother and father collaborate to create a nest that resembles a bowl-shaped structure built from twigs, branches, and leaves. They lay 2-3 eggs inside the nest, which are incubated by both parents for around 13 days. Once the eggs hatch, both parents provide care and food for the chicks until they reach maturity and are able to fly independently in just 11 days.

This specific species of animal has a large breeding territory and is known to be plentiful. There are no signs of decline or significant threats, so it’s assumed that their population is stable.

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