Family Megapodes (Megapodiidae)


Sula Scrubfowl (Megapodius bernsteinii)


French: Mégapode de Bernstein German: Sula-Großfußhuhn Spanish: Talégalo de Sula
Other common names: Sula Megapode

Megapodius Bernsteinii


, 1866,

Sula Islands


Formerly included in M. freycinet. Birds from Peleng I (Banggai Is) have been accorded separate race perrufus#R, but observed differences in general plumage tones usually attributed to individual variation#R; this race has alternatively been assigned to M. reinwardt, presumably in error. Monotypic.


Banggai Is and Sula Is.

Descriptive notes

c. 30–35 cm. Fairly uniform rufous-brown plumage. Very short, slightly pointed crest. Male and female apparently identical, including in size. Differs from M.... read more


Voice loud, often given nocturnally, but also given in morning and to lesser extent afternoon in... read more


Variety of habitats, ranging from primary forest to coastal scrub, and including bamboo-dominated... read more

Food and feeding

Very few data, but presumably omnivorous like other Megapodius and has been recorded feeding on young roots and invertebrates... read more


Eggs and one chick found in Dec, indicating laying from Oct or earlier; active mound in Sept/Oct. Apparently monogamous. Mound builder, in... read more


Presumably sedentary. Frequently seen in pairs, sometimes in groups of up to five birds (suspected... read more

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Formerly considered Near Threatened. Total population roughly estimated to number c. 10,000 individuals, but numbers perhaps much higher; thought to be stable or... read more

Recommended citation

Elliott, A. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Sula Scrubfowl (Megapodius bernsteinii). 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 30 March 2020).