Clowns are not really people’s most favorite thing, but this bird might just be that one exception. Like humans, we all come in forms of different faces, some with peculiar features that make them distinct among the majority.
In the bird world, this pretty little thing certainly belongs in that category. With its bright red face and pale eyes with a surprised look, it truly is a compelling sight to behold.
Its appearance can be likened to roosters, but all in all, it truly resembles a jester compressed into its little body. It’s like a bird form of these scary clowns we see in movies!
This particular cuckoo bird can be easily mistaken for another cuckoo species, such as the chestnut-bellied malkoha. However, it remains different from all other cuckoo species because unlike most of them, they aren’t brooding parasites, and they build their nest and raise their own young.
This bird is a common species found from Burma/Myanmar to the Philippines and Borneo. It was first found and described from a collected specimen in western Java by George Shaw, an English naturalist, as Cuculus curvirostris in 1810.
Check out this peculiar bird with a clown-like appearance below, and prepare yourself for a fun ride with its jester’s face!
Meet The Chestnut-Breasted Malkoha
The bird with a fun clown-like appearance.
The chestnut-breasted malkoha (Phaenicophaeus curvirostris) is a species of cuckoo that is characterized by its bright red face and enticing pale eyes with equally pale upper and red lower mandibles that give its clown-like appearance. Its wings have a dark glossy green finish accompanied by a rich chestnut-brown chest, hence its name.
It usually measures 42-49 centimeters long. It features a large and curved pale yellow upper mandible with a darker red lower mandible.
It also has a bare red patch of rough skin around its eyes, which highlights its extraordinary appearance. Its head is grey and its wings fade to blue from green as it gets older.
Its underparts are colored chestnut, with its feet dark grey.
Female ones are quite similar to males. However, males have a pale blue iris while females have yellow.
The chesnut-breasted malkoha is endemic to Thailand, Myanmar, Borneo, Sumatra, Java, Bali Indonesia, and the islands of Palawan in the Philippines. They are usually found beneath tropical forests, magroves, dry tropical scrublands, secondary-growth forests, rural gardens, and plantations.
They like to feed on insects, such as caterpillars, grasshoppers, cicadas, cockroaches, beetles, and spiders. They may also sometimes eat lizards, frogs, crabs, and even young birds.
Unlike most species in the cuckoo family, the chestnut-breasted malkoha actually raise their own young and aren’t predatory to other nests. The nest is built by the cooperation of both parents, formed with a bowl of branches and twigs and leaves.
This species are pretty common even at present time, and there is no record of any declines or substantial threats to tag its existence as endangered.
Check out the chestnut-breasted malkoha in action!
This bird certainly has the “it” factor and it is truly evident what with its unusual yet striking appearance that you couldn’t just easily ignore. Isn’t it just so extraordinarily and weirdly charming?
Comment down your thoughts, or share these lovely photos with your family and friends, especially the bird-lover ones!