Ceuthmochares aereus (Green malkoha , Green coucal) 

Groenvleiloerie [Afrikaans]; Geelsnavelmalkoha [Dutch]; Malcoha bec jaune [French]; Erzkuckuck [German]; Cucal-verde [Portuguese]

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class: Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) > Tetrapoda (four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota > Reptilia (reptiles) > Romeriida > Diapsida > Archosauromorpha > Archosauria > Dinosauria (dinosaurs) > Saurischia > Theropoda (bipedal predatory dinosaurs) > Coelurosauria > Maniraptora > Aves (birds) > Order: Cuculiformes > Family: Cuculidae

Ceuthmochares aereus (Green malkoha , Green coucal) Ceuthmochares aereus (Green malkoha , Green coucal)

Green malkoha, Dlinza Forest, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. [photo Guy Upfold ]

Green malkoha with Hyperolius frog at nest, Dlinza Forest, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. [photo Hugh Chittenden ]

The Green malkoha occurs in band extending across eastern sub-Saharan Africa, from Kenya to Mozambique and KwaZulu-Natal. It usually prefers dense thickets at forest edges, avoiding the middle of the forest. It mainly eats insects and small vertebrates, usually foraging in dense vegetation but occasionally emerging to catch termite alates or caterpillars. It is probably monogamous, nesting on a flimsy platform of twigs and plant detritus, usually concealed in thick vegetation. There is little more information about its breeding habits, as there have been no large studies done on this species.

Distribution and habitat

Occurs from Kenya trough Tanzania to Mozambique and eastern KwaZulu-Natal. It generally prefers dense thickets at forest edges, avoiding the middle of the forest. 

Distribution of Green malkoha in southern Africa, based on statistical smoothing of the records from first SA Bird Atlas Project ( Animal Demography unit, University of Cape Town; smoothing by Birgit Erni and Francesca Little). Colours range from dark blue (most common) through to yellow (least common). See here for the latest distribution from the SABAP2.  

Food 

It mainly eats insects and small vertebrates, usually foraging in dense vegetation but occasionally emerging to catch termite alates or caterpillars. The following food items have been recorded in its diet:

Breeding

  • Unlike most cuckoos it is not a brood parasite, instead nesting solitarily in monogamous pairs.
  • The nest is a flimsy platform of twigs and plant detritus, usually concealed in thick vegetation.
  • It lays 2-4 eggs in the period from October-December.
Ceuthmochares aereus (Green malkoha , Green coucal)

Green malkoha eggs (left) and chicks (right) in the nest in Dlinza Forest. [photos Hugh Chittenden ]

  • The incubation of the eggs and caring of the chicks has not been studied.
Ceuthmochares aereus (Green malkoha , Green coucal)

Adult feeding chick with invertebrate prey. [photos Hugh Chittenden ]

Ceuthmochares aereus (Green malkoha , Green coucal) Ceuthmochares aereus (Green malkoha , Green coucal)
Adult brooding young chicks. [photo Guy Upfold ] Adult at nest. [photo Hugh Chittenden ]

Threats

Not globally threatened.

References

  • Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ and Ryan PG (eds) 2005. Roberts - Birds of southern Africa, VIIth ed. The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town. 

 
 

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