Fr: Coua de Coquerel
Ang: Coquerel's Coua
All: Coquerel-Seidenkuckuck
Esp: Cúa de Coquerel
Ita: Cua di Coquerel
Nd: Coquerels Coua
Sd: Coquerels koua
Mal: Akoke, Aliotsy, Fandikalalana, Gory, Leja


Patrick Ingremeau


John Gerrard Keulemans (1842-1912)

Text by Nicole Bouglouan


HANDBOOK OF THE BIRDS OF THE WORLD vol 4 by Josep del Hoyo-Andrew Elliott-Jordi Sargatal - Lynx Edicions - ISBN: 8487334229

Cuckoos of the World Par Johannes Erritzøe, Clive F. Mann, Frederik Brammer, Richard A. Fuller – Editeurs A&C Black, 2012 – ISBN: 1408142678, 9781408142677

The Cuckoos Par Robert B. Payne – Editeur : OUP Oxford, 2005 – ISBN : 0191513555, 9780191513558

Birds of Madagascar and the Indian Ocean Islands Par Roger Safford, Adrian Skerrett, Frank Hawkins – ISBN: 1472924118, 9781472924117- Editeur: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015

Wildlife of Madagascar par Ken Behrens,Keith Barnes - ISBN: 140088067X, 9781400880676 – Editeur: Princeton University Press, 2016

Birds of Madagascar: A Photographic Guide Par Pete Morris, Frank Hawkins – ISBN: 0300077556, 9780300077551- Editeur: Yale University Press, 1998

The Birds of Africa: Volume VIII: The Malagasy Region: Madagascar, Seychelles, Comoros, Mascarenes - Par Roger Safford, Frank Hawkins – ISBN: 1408190494, 9781408190494- Editeur: A&C Black, 2013

Avibase (Denis Lepage)

Birdlife International

HBW Alive


Impact of logging on the foraging behaviour of two sympatric species of Couas (Coua coquereli and Coua gigas) in the western dry forest of Madagascar.


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Coquerel’s Coua
Coua coquereli

Cuculiformes Order – Cuculidae Family

The Coquerel’s Coua is endemic to Madagascar and occurs in W of the island. It can be found from dry to deciduous forests and to spiny bush, and generally in a variety of natural forest habitats. This terrestrial species feeds mainly on insects, spiders, seeds, berries and fruits, and forages by walking quietly on the forest floor. It is apparently monogamous and nests in trees among the dense foliage.
The Coquerel’s Coua has currently stable population and the species is not globally threatened.

The juvenile is duller than adults and lacks the black on face. The wing-coverts are brown with buff edges. The underparts are grey-brown with whitish barring. The skin around the eye is slightly feathered. The bill is flesh with darker culmen. The eyes are dark brown. Legs and feet are grey.

The Coquerel’s Coua occurs in W Madagascar S to Morombe and Sakaraha, and N to Antsiranana, Sambirano, Berevo and upper Tsiribihina R.

The Coquerel’s Coua frequents a variety of natural forest types. It can be found in dry or humid-dry deciduous forests to spiny bush, and adjacent secondary dry deciduous growths. The species is visible from sea-level to 800 metres of elevation.

The Coquerel’s Coua gives loud series of 2-4 clear whistles followed by low, soft growl “weerweer weer grull” or some variations with addition of two higher-pitched notes “weer-weer-weer-wink-wink grull”.
It may produce various growls and grunts, and we can also hear a high-pitched “ayoo-ew”. The alarm call is a harsh “kakakakakaka”.
It usually sings in the early morning from perch, about 1,5/6 metres above the ground.

John Gerrard Keulemans (1842-1912)

The Coquerel’s Coua is apparently monogamous. At the beginning of the breeding season, it sings from elevated perches during the morning. It produces deep purring sounds when approaching the female.  
In order to solicit the copulation, the male presents a prey to the female, often a caterpillar or a grasshopper. The male holds the prey in its bill while mating and then, it eats the prey.
There is considerable nesting-site fidelity, and the pair usually returns to the same territory in several following years.

The Coquerel’s Coua is resident on the island.
It is very terrestrial and rarely flies. If alarmed, it prefers to run swiftly to reach the vegetal cover.

The breeding season occurs between October and March, and is closely related to the rainy season.
The Coquerel’s Coua builds a bowl-shaped nest in tree or dense bush, between 2 and 11 metres above the ground, generally in dense foliage.
The nest is made with dead leaves, lianas and leaf petioles. Tree bark is often added to strengthen the structure and can be used as lining too. Both adults build the nest within three days.

The female lays 1-2 dull white eggs. The chicks are naked at hatching. They leave the nest 9 days later but they are unable to fly. They are fed by both parents on the ground where they remain until they can fly.

The Coquerel’s Coua is fairly common throughout its range in W Madagascar. It is affected by hunting and trapping.
The species occurs in some protected areas where it is common.
The population is suspected to be stable and not globally threatened.
The Coquerel’s Coua is currently evaluated as Least Concern.

Length: 42 cm
Weight: adult: 160 g – juvenile-135 g

The Coquerel’s Coua has olive-green upperparts and wings with dull bronze wash. The long tail is dark bronze.
On the underparts, throat and breast are whitish to brownish, but the lower breast is mostly pinkish-buff. Belly and undertail-coverts are olive-grey. The underside of rectrices is blackish with white tips, except on central tail feathers.

The head is olive-green, but like other couas, it has a patch of bare blue skin around the eye. This skin is mostly sky-blue above the eye, darker blue around and behind the eye, and pinkish-lilac behind the blue skin. The bare patch is outlined by black feathers. The eyering is blue.
The bill is black. The eyes are brown to red-brown. Legs and feet are black.
Male and female are similar.

The Coquerel’s Coua feeds on insects such as Orthoptera, Lepidoptera, Hemiptera, Isoptera and Diplopoda (millipedes), caterpillars, and spiders and small lizards. It also consumes seeds, berries and fruits.  

It takes similar prey all year round, but the foraging behaviour differs depending on dry or wet season, and prey availability. It forages by walking slowly on the ground with the tail held horizontally. It feeds on the forest floor and from middle-level to 5 metres above the ground.

Like other couas, it sunbathes regularly, especially after cold nights, exposing an area of black skin on rump to the morning sun. It is terrestrial and very secretive, and prefers to run quickly if threatened.