Family Cuckoos (Cuculidae)

Least Concern

Blue Coua (Coua caerulea)


French: Coua bleu German: Blau-Seidenkuckuck Spanish: Cúa azul

Cuculus cæruleus


, 1766,



Possibly part of a clade which includes also C. cristata and C. verreauxi#R#R. Monotypic.


Most of E & NW Madagascar.

Descriptive notes

48–50 cm; male 225–257 g, female 240–268 g. A large, arboreal coua that should prove unmistakable in range; from C. cristata by blue breast and... read more


Varied vocalizations, some of them similar to C. cristata. Brief trilled “brrreee-ee... read more


Primary forest, also second growth and dense clove (Syzygium aromaticum) and cacao (... read more

Food and feeding

Insects (cicadas, phasmids, locusts, crickets, bees, beetles, flies, caterpillars, millipedes, centipedes) and spiders, small reptiles (e.g... read more


Breeds Jul–Dec, mainly in rains (Oct–Dec). Open bowl-shaped nest of sticks or dense plant matter, 4·5–8 m above... read more


Resident, although there is inconclusive evidence of movement between humid and adjacent littoral... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Common in suitable habitat throughout its range (from Sambava to Tolagnaro), but mainly in W & S of distribution; not dependent on primary forest... read more

Recommended citation

Payne, R. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Blue Coua (Coua caerulea). 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 25 February 2020).