Family Cuckoos (Cuculidae)

Least Concern

Chestnut-vented Coua (Coua pyropyga)


French: Coua pyropyge German: Braunsteiß-Seidenkuckuck Spanish: Cúa culicastaño

Coua pyropyga

A. Grandidier

, 1867,

south-western coast of Madagascar


Hitherto treated as a race of C. cristata, but differs in its chestnut vs whitish or buffy-white undertail-coverts (3); slightly paler cast above with much paler glaucous vs dark green-blue tertials (2); considerably longer white tips on outer rectrices (effect size 2.03; score 2); distinctly larger size on basis of wing (effect size 4.57; score 2); and narrow zone of intergradation (2). Monotypic.


SW & S Madagascar from Morondava and Toliara S to Amboasary and Anosyenne Mts.

Descriptive notes

40–44 cm; 131–168 g. Adult, compared to previously conspecific C. cristata, is generally larger, except versus virtually unknown race C. c. maxima (wing of... read more


No known differences between this species and C. cristata. Food-begging young utter a... read more


Inhabits dry deciduous forests, spiny bush and gallery forests to littoral forests. Absent from... read more

Food and feeding

Predominantly insects, e.g. Coleoptera (Curculionidae), Hemiptera, Homoptera, lepidopteran larvae, Mantodea, Orthoptera (Acrididae,... read more


Season overall at least Oct–Mar, with little evidence of synchronicity (e.g. young observed at Berenty late Oct–early Feb), but probably... read more


Presumably resident and sedentary, as also true of C. cristata.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Generally common W & S from Morondava to Toliara, whereas it is typically uncommon in S to Amboasary. In dry forests of Andohahela National Park... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Chestnut-vented Coua (Coua pyropyga). 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 28 January 2020).