Family Megapodes (Megapodiidae)


Micronesian Scrubfowl (Megapodius laperouse)


French: Mégapode de La Pérouse German: Lapérouse-Großfußhuhn Spanish: Talégalo de las Marianas
Other common names: Micronesian Megapode

Megapodius La Pérouse


, 1823,

Tinian Island, Mariana Islands


Linked with M. layardi in the past. Race senex sometimes considered a full species#R, mainly on account of geographical isolation and differences in size and normal breeding habits. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. l. laperouse Gaimard, 1823 – Mariana Megapode – N Mariana Is, mainly restricted to islands N of Saipan. Extirpated from Guam.
  • M. l. senex Hartlaub, 1868 – Palau Megapode – Palau Is.
  • Descriptive notes

    c. 28–30 cm; male 275–291 g, female 400–455 g. Smallest megapode. Short pale grey crest with rest of plumage generally blackish; iris orange-brown to dark... read more


    Most frequently heard is male territorial call, a loud raucous “keek...keek keek”, with... read more


    Race laperouse occupies mainly forest in limestone areas, sometimes in hills, but also... read more

    Food and feeding

    Known largely from stomach contents of just two birds, which included spiders, insects (including larvae of Lepidoptera and Coleoptera),... read more


    Burrow nester and mound builder, depending on race. Season in both races probably year-round, or virtually so, but peak activity in ... read more


    Irregular, but relatively frequent, presence of birds on small, barren volcanic islands indicates... read more

    Status and conservation

    ENDANGERED. Mace Lande: laperouse Endangered; senex Vulnerable. Population of laperouse thought to number 1000–2500 individuals and that of... read more

    Recommended citation

    Elliott, A. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Micronesian Scrubfowl (Megapodius laperouse). 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 23 May 2019).