Family Megapodes (Megapodiidae)

Least Concern

Philippine Scrubfowl (Megapodius cumingii)


French: Mégapode des Philippines German: Philippinen-Großfußhuhn Spanish: Talégalo filipino
Other common names: Philippine Megapode, Tabon Megapode, Tabon Scrubfowl

Megapodius Cumingii


, 1853,

Labuan Island, north Borneo


Formerly included in M. freycinet. Apparently very close to M. nicobariensis. Genetic work supports close relationship to M. tenimberensis#R. Proposed race balukensis#R (Balukbaluk I, off SW Mindanao) of very dubious validity, and included within pusillus. Seven subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. c. dillwyni#R Tweeddale, 1878 – N Philippines (Luzon, Mindoro, Marinduque and associated small islands, N to Batan Is).
  • M. c. pusillus#R Tweeddale, 1878 – CE & SE Philippines (Masbate, Cebu, Negros, Bohol, W Mindanao).
  • M. c. tabon#R Hachisuka, 1931 – SE Philippines (E Mindanao).
  • M. c. talautensis#R Roselaar, 1994 – Talaud Is.
  • M. c. sanghirensis#R Schlegel, 1880 – Sangihe Is.
  • M. c. cumingii#R Dillwyn, 1853 – SW Philippines (Palawan) S to small islands off N Borneo.
  • M. c. gilbertii#R G. R. Gray, 1862 – Sulawesi and Togian Is.
  • Descriptive notes

    31–44 cm. Virtually no crest and is only Megapodius within its range. Rather similar to M. nicobariensis, but much darker, and generally greyer below... read more


    Frequently heard morning and afternoon and also very vocal at night; a plaintive, crying “... read more


    Forested zones of hills and mountains at 250–2100 m; also beach forest and coastal scrub,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Known to feed on variety of larval and adult insects, including beetles and termites; worms and snails also recorded, as well as fruits and... read more


    Probably breeds year-round in Sabah; in N Sulawesi laying in Mar, May, Nov and Dec; in Philippines breeding in May (Fuga), Jun–Aug (... read more


    No movements recorded, but periodical presence on small onshore islets indicate that some short sea... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Mace Lande: Vulnerable. Total population might number c. 6700–67,000 individuals, but apparently declining. Formerly considered... read more

    Recommended citation

    Elliott, A. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Philippine Scrubfowl (Megapodius cumingii). 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 19 August 2019).