Green-billed Malkoha foraging on the ground

on 3rd November 2009

“I enjoy malkohas for two reasons. Firstly, they are an unusual bird to find in an urban garden or park due to the large size (50-60 cm.). They usually come and go largely unseen by the average person who does not even know it lives in our midst. Secondly, they are generally friendly and love scampering up the trunk of a tree and sitting quietly in the foliage, where it can be almost ‘invisible’.

“From the top of trees it launches itself and glides down to another tree and repeats the process as it forages, making excellent viewing. Their scampering behaviour in trees has been described as ‘squirrel like’ and delightful to watch.

“The images on the left were taken last week in a park in the city. This adult Green-billed Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus tristis longicaudatus) was not seen by most people. To my surprise it spent quite some time on the ground foraging. (Malkoha’s usually spend much of their time up in trees forgaing.) It was almost invisible in the thick grass under some tall trees.

“It found a long stick-insect which it devoured happily, allowing me to watch. According to Wells (1999), there is no local information on prey, but in my experience/observations, and photographs, it loves large insects.”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
11th October 2009

Note: An earlier post similarly showed a Chestnut-bellied Malkoha (P. sumatranus) foraging on the ground.

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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