Family Cuckoos (Cuculidae)

Least Concern

Yellow-billed Malkoha (Rhamphococcyx calyorhynchus)


French: Malcoha à bec peint German: Buntschnabelkuckuck Spanish: Malcoha de Célebes

Phænicophæus calyorhynchus


, 1825,



Has been considered closely related to Phaenicophaeus curvirostris, which is sometimes placed (together with P. oeneicaudus) in present genus; all have previously been included in Zanclostomus. Proposed race centralis (from C Sulawesi) appears inseparable from meridionalis. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • R. c. calyorhynchus (Temminck, 1825) – N, E & SE Sulawesi and Togian Is.
  • R. c. meridionalis A. B. Meyer & Wiglesworth, 1896 – C & SW Sulawesi.
  • R. c. rufiloris E. J. O. Hartert, 1903 – Butung, off SE Sulawesi.
  • Descriptive notes

    53 cm. Adult back rufous-maroon above, crown and face dark grey, wings dark purple, tail black; throat and breast rufous, belly dark grey; iris red; bill deep, curved, yellow... read more


    Call a short winding-up rattle.


    Inhabits secondary forest and forest edge, also coconut plantations, riverine vegetation near... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects, including hairy caterpillars, locusts and mantids, and beetles. Hops and creeps around the canopy like a squirrel; follows macaque... read more


    Breeds Nov–Dec. Nest undescribed. Eggs white; 36 x 31 mm; clutch size not recorded. Although apparently a nesting species, a juvenile... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Very little known about status, but occurrence at forest edge, in coconut groves and relatively near human habitation may suggest certain... read more

    Recommended citation

    Payne, R. (2020). Yellow-billed Malkoha (Rhamphococcyx calyorhynchus). 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 7 April 2020).