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Malayan Crested Fireback - BirdForum Opus

Photo by zykoay
Taman Negara Pahang (Kuala Tahan), Pahang State, Malaysia, 07 July 2016
Lophura rufa


Male around 70 cm; female 56–57 cm

  • Blackish to dark blue crest, each feather with a proximal area with bare shaft
  • Blue-black glossy plumage
  • White streaks on flanks
  • Rufous lower back
  • Black outer tail and tail coverts
  • White central tail
  • Blue facial skin enlarged as wattles
  • Red iris
Photo by zykoay
Taman Negara Pahang (Kuala Tahan), Pahang State, Malaysia, 07 July 2016


  • Short rufous crest
  • Blue facial skin
  • Brown-to-chestnut plumage
  • White streaks on breast becoming black and white spotted underparts


South-east Asia: Malay Peninsula and Sumatra


This is a monotypic species[1].
This includes the form formerly separated as subspecies macartneyi: these birds either originated in captivity or constitute a hybrid swarm between this species and Bornean Crested Fireback.

This was formerly joined with Bornean Crested Fireback in Crested Fireback (Pheasant).


Pair interaction
Photo by darwin1601
Taman Negara Pahang (Kuala Tahan), Pahang State, Malaysia, June 2018

Lowland forest, seemingly tolerant of second growth and/or limited logging. It has a preference for areas near rivers and especially such areas that seasonally flood. Generally below 600 m asl but sometimes found up to 1200 m asl in the Malay peninsula.


Feeds on berries, fruit, other plant materials but also invertebrates. Feeding often involves groups up to 6 birds, possibly more so when not breeding.


A number of vocalizations have been described, the species being more frequently heard early morning and late afternoon.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, S. M. Billerman, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2022. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2022. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Gill, F, D Donsker, and P Rasmussen (Eds). 2023. IOC World Bird List (v 13.1)_red. Doi 10.14344/IOC.ML.13.1. http://www.worldbirdnames.org/
  3. Kirwan, G. M., J. del Hoyo, P. J. K. McGowan, N. Collar, D. A. Christie, and P. F. D. Boesman (2022). Malayan Crested Fireback (Lophura rufa), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (B. K. Keeney, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.crefir3.01

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