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Coquerel's Coua, crop.jpg
Coquerel's coua (Coua coquereli)
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Cuculiformes
Family: Cuculidae
Genus: Coua
Schinz, 1821

See text

     range of genus

Couas are large, mostly terrestrial birds of the cuckoo family, endemic to the island of Madagascar. Coua derives from koa, the Malagasy name for a cuckoo or coua,[1] which is in turn an onomatopoeic of some species' call notes.

Reminiscent of African turacos when walking along tree branches, they likewise feature brightly coloured bare skin around the eyes. Some resemble coucals in their habit of clambering through plant tangles while foraging, while the arboreal species move between tree canopies with gliding flight. Four species occur (red) in rainforests while the remaining six are found in the dry forests of western and southern Madagascar.

They have large feet, with a reversible third toe like all cuckoos. Their long tibia suggest a relationship with the Carpococcyx ground-cuckoos of Asia, a genus with similar nestlings. Consequently, they are sometimes united in the subfamily Couinae.[2] Couas build their own nests and lay white eggs. Couas' calls are short series of evenly spaced notes, which are sometimes answered by other individuals.



  1. ^ Jobling, James A. (2005). A Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. Oxford University Press. p. 62. ISBN 0-19-854634-3.
  2. ^ Payne, Robert B., and Karen Klitz (1991). The Cuckoos. Oxford University Press. p. 27. ISBN 0-19-850213-3.

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