Family Megapodes (Megapodiidae)


Maleo (Macrocephalon maleo)


French: Mégapode maléo German: Hammerhuhn Spanish: Talégalo maleo

Macrocephalon maleo

S. Müller

, 1846,





N, C & SE Sulawesi, and Butung I (off SE coast). Populations, probably introduced, formerly occurred off NE Sulawesi on Lembeh and perhaps Bangka, and also on several of Sangihe Is.

Descriptive notes

55 cm; male 1365–1622 g, female 1430–1758 g. Unmistakable, very large, black-and-white bird with medium-length tail; stout, pale bill and bare, yellowish facial... read more


Several different vocalisations, including extraordinary loud braying, a series of disyllabic rolls... read more


Lowland and hill forest, with records up to 1375 m; descends to breed on beaches along coast or in... read more

Food and feeding

Known to feed on fallen fruits (e.g. Pangium edule) and seeds, insects and invertebrates (beetles, ants, termites and freshwater... read more


Laying throughout year, with peak Oct–Apr in N Sulawesi; eggs May–Jul and Nov–Jan in SE Sulawesi, where freshly dug... read more


Presumably mostly sedentary, although adults apparently not faithful to their hatching site. One... read more

Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. CITES I. Mace Lande: Vulnerable/Endangered. Total population probably numbers only 8000–14,000 individuals, and is declining, with a total of 131 nesting-... read more

Recommended citation

Elliott, A. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Maleo (Macrocephalon maleo). 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 7 December 2019).