Family Cuckoos (Cuculidae)

Least Concern

Chestnut-breasted Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus curvirostris)


French: Malcoha rouverdin German: Schimmerkuckuck Spanish: Malcoha pechicastaño
Other common names: Palawan Malkoha (harringtoni)

Cuculus curvirostris


, 1810,

western Java


Hitherto considered conspecific with P. oeneicaudus. Has been considered closely related to Rhamphococcyx calyorhynchus, and sometimes placed (together with P. oeneicaudus) in Rhamphococcyx; alternatively, all three have previously been included in genus Zanclostomus. Race microrhinus sometimes listed as borneensis, but latter name is preoccupied in this genus by a race of P. diardi; race singularis previously listed as erythrognathus, but latter name invalid. Five subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. c. singularis (Parrot, 1907) – S Myanmar (Tenasserim), S Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia to Sumatra.
  • P. c. curvirostris (Shaw, 1810) – W & C Java.
  • P. c. deningeri Stresemann, 1913 – E Java and Bali.
  • P. c. microrhinus Berlepsch, 1895 – Borneo, Natuna Is#R and Bangka.
  • P. c. harringtoni (Sharpe, 1877) – SW Philippines (Calamian Group, Palawan, Balabac).
  • Descriptive notes

    42–50 cm; male 145–190 g, female 163–167·6 g (nominate), male 134–155 g (microrhinus), male 111–177·1 g (harringtoni... read more


    A low “kuk-kuk”, ticking or knocking calls like a clucking chicken, and a faster... read more


    Thickets in primary forest (e.g. lowland and hill dipterocarp, peat-swamp, alluvial, logged and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects, including caterpillars (hairy and hairless) (Lasiocampidae), grasshoppers (Acrididae), crickets, beetles, cockroaches, stick... read more


    Breeds Jan–Mar and Jun–Jul in Peninsular Malaysia (eggs), Jan on Sumatra (eggs), Apr, Jul and Nov on Java (nestlings, recently... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). A common species in lowlands of S Thailand, Borneo and Philippines, and fairly common to common in Peninsular Malaysia, and on... read more

    Recommended citation

    Payne, R. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Chestnut-breasted Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus curvirostris). 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 8 December 2019).