Green Malkoha (Coucal) | Ceuthmochares aereus

Robert's Birding Information: Green Malkoha (Coucal)

The Green Malkoha is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Cuculidae bird family group which includes birds such as Old World Cuckoos, Malkohas.

The description for the Green Malkoha (Latin name Ceuthmochares aereus) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Ceuthmochares aereus can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 387 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 215. You will find a picture of the Green Malkoha on page 209.

The Green Malkoha is known as a "lifer" in the birding circles of South Africa.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

This bird is known as Green Coucal in the Roberts 6th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Green Malkoha between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition.

The Green Malkoha has a height of 33 cms and weighs around 70 gms. The head is coloured olive, grey while the bill is coloured yellow. The Ceuthmochares aereus has a grey coloured throat, black legs and a green coloured back. The eyes are crimson.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is olive, grey.

Eyes are crimson.

Bill is yellow.

Legs are black.

Throat is grey.

Back is green.

Photo's & Differentiating Between Male, Female & Juveniles

Please click the images below to make them larger:

Male Adult  
Female Adult  
Non Breeding Plumage N/A

Green Malkoha (Coucal) Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground.

The Green Malkoha is usually seen hunting for food within the tree foliage.

The Ceuthmochares aereus attacks smaller birds in flight and uses its sharp claws to break the bird's neck. Some of the birds are attacked in their nests while others are killed on the ground. The Green Malkoha eats the eggs of its victim.

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten.

The Ceuthmochares aereus forages mainly on the ground or at the base of trees, and low down in the shrubs eating mostly fruits and seeds.

Green Malkoha (Coucal) Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Green Malkoha is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 2 to 4 eggs and they are coloured brown.

The nest is built high up in the tree canopy and is protected from predators by branches and the dense green foliage.

This bird is very common in most of the Southern African Forests.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Green Malkoha is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.