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Chestnut-bellied Malkoha - BirdForum Opus

Photo by SeeToh
Singapore, January, 2018
Phaenicophaeus sumatranus


40–41 cm (15¾-16 in)

  • Dark grey back and underparts
  • Large orangy-red eye ring
  • Chestnut belly
  • Dull turquoise wings
  • Greenish-grey bill


Photo by Jason Tan
Johore, Malaysia, November 2006

South-east Asia: found in southern Myanmar, southern Thailand, Malay Peninsula, Sumatra and Borneo.


This species is often seen as monotypic[1], however, some authorities recognize three subspecies: sumatranus, minor, and rodolphi[2].

Some authorities place it in a different genus as Rhopodytes sumatranus[2].


Mangroves, broadleaved evergreen forest and forest edges up to 1,000m.



The nest is a platform of twigs, placed in the fork of a tree.


The diet includes lizards, grasshoppers and caterpillars.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Avibase
  3. BESGroup
  4. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved Mar 2018)

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