Closely related to M. rufipennis, M. emiliana, M. tenuirostris, M. magna and M. phasianella, and all six sometimes considered conspecific; present species normally considered to be closest to M. magna and M. phasianella; further studies required in order to clarify precise relationships within this complex. Vocal and morphological differences within present species, as constituted herein, suggest that more than one species may be involved. Conversely, validity of some races, notably kerstingi, has been questioned; races kerstingi and goldiei sometimes merged into cinereiceps; birds of Sula Is sometimes separated as race sedecima, but doubtfully distinct; delimitation of subspecific ranges also unclear in several cases. For birds of N Moluccas, older name albiceps has priority over batchianensis#R. Eighteen subspecies currently recognized.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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