Family Megapodes (Megapodiidae)


Biak Scrubfowl (Megapodius geelvinkianus)


French: Mégapode de Geelvink German: Geelvink-Großfußhuhn Spanish: Talégalo de Biak
Other common names: Biak Megapode, Geelvink Scrubfowl

Megapodius geelvinkianus

A. B. Meyer

, 1874,

Numfor and Biak


Until recently included within M. freycinet; here considered a full species on basis of significantly smaller size (effect size for wing –2.68) than even smallest race of M. freycinet (2), more brightly coloured skin of head and neck (2), mainly red vs blackish-yellow or blackish-green legs (3), olive tinge to upperparts (1), and somewhat different relative proportions (ns)#R. Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

Islands in Geelvink Bay (Biak, Numfor, Mios Num), off NW New Guinea.

Descriptive notes

36 cm; one female 525 g. Medium-sized, all-brown megapode with slight crest. Plumage is mostly dark grey-brown, upperparts with olive tinge; face reddish or bluish; legs red... read more


Not well known, although the species is said to be very vocal. Duet, with one bird giving a “keyeew... read more


Reported in primary forest, second growth, dry scrub and logged forest; also in scrub close to... read more

Food and feeding

No information on diet. Presumably takes invertebrates from forest-floor litter.


No information.


Presumably sedentary.

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. From assessment of known records, descriptions of abundance and range size, population estimated to number 2500–9999 mature individuals (equivalent to c. 3500–15,... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N., Christie, D.A. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Biak Scrubfowl (Megapodius geelvinkianus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 16 December 2019).