Family Cuckoos (Cuculidae)

Least Concern

Raffles's Malkoha (Rhinortha chlorophaea)


French: Malcoha de Raffles German: Bubukuckuck Spanish: Malcoha de Raffles

Cuculus chlorophæus


, 1822,

forests of Sumatra


Sometimes placed in Phaenicophaeus, but is the only malkoha with marked sexual dimorphism; mtDNA suggests it may even merit its own tribe, Rhinorthini, sister to Phaenicophaeini and Cuculini#R. Proposed races rufescens and ruficauda are junior synonyms of chlorophaea; proposed races facta (Batu Is, off W Sumatra), bangkana (Bangka I, off SE Sumatra), fuscigularis (NW Borneo) and mayri (S Borneo) are all judged to be indistinguishable from birds in rest of species’ range, although fuscigularis is sometimes recognized#R. Monotypic.


S Myanmar (Tenasserim), S Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia to Sumatra (with Batu Is and Bangka I) and Borneo (with Natuna Is).

Descriptive notes

30–33 cm; male 45–62 g, female 41–62 g. Adult male rufous above, head rufous, tail black, finely barred grey and broadly tipped white; rufous throat and... read more


A soft mournful, cat-like “miaow”, “mew” or “kiau”, 3–6... read more


Primary dipterocarp, evergreen, semi-evergreen and peat-swamp forests, also second growth with many... read more

Food and feeding

Mostly insects, mainly caterpillars, also butterflies, cicadas, crickets, beetles, locusts; large spiders. Creeps through dense vegetation... read more


Breeds (eggs) Jan, Apr and May in Peninsular Malaysia, with nest-building observed in Mar and Aug, and dependent young observed May–... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. A common species throughout most of its sizeable range, although no records from Singapore since 1895. Frequent observation in degraded, secondary... read more

Recommended citation

Payne, R. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Raffles's Malkoha (Rhinortha chlorophaea). 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 3 April 2020).