Raffles’s Malkoha nesting and calls

posted in: Nesting, Vocalisation | 0

“I went fairly deep into this forest reserve to get some rest and spotted a female Raffles’s Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus chlorophaeus) bringing prey to juveniles (above). Prey was a large winged insect.

“The nest is located 11-12 meters, high up in the crown of large tree (below). The nest may appear very high to us but I was on an old logging trail on the slope of a hill. Hence from the bird’s perspective the crown is easily reached from the vegetation on the top of the hill.

“The nest itself was hard to visualise but appeared to be a collection of dried twigs and old leaves (below). Leaves are usually collected fresh, from my experience.

“This is my second Raffles’s Malkoha nest. The first is seen HERE.

“I have almost always found Raffles’s Malkoha on the foothills, as here, and rarely on the plains. I limited my observations to a few images and three brief visits as both adults were quite aware of my presence.

“While watching the Raffles’s Malkoha nesting pair I was fortunate to witness their calls and make some recordings. Wells (1999) & Robson (2002) describes them as ‘kiaow’ and ‘kiau’ respectively. Wells states that ‘callers not identified to sex’. I can confirm that the majority of calls are made by the adult male but there is a response from the female. I am uncertain as to the reason for the calls.

“This is a short audio clip of calls (much of the background sounds have been edited) HERE. You can hear the ‘kiaow’ at the beginning of the recording but then they make other harsh croaking calls. This is the male calling posture, hunched over and looking down at the female HERE.

“A waveform and sonogram of calls is given above.”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
13th June 2014

Location: Ulu Kinta Forest Reserve, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Habitat: Previously logged forest with secondary growth and some primary forest


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