August 31, 2015 – Giant Coua (Coua gigas)

Requested by: taylorrbranham

These large birds are found in western and southern Madagascar. They eat mostly insects, especially moths and butterflies, along with some seeds. Their feeding behavior seems to change depending on their habitat and the season. Those living in logged forests mostly forage on the ground during the dry season and more frequently catch food in the air by leaping and sallying during the wet season. It is believed that this behavior allows them to catch more insects during the rainy breeding season, when they need a more protein-rich diet. Though they are in the cuckoo family, they raise their own chicks, rather than parasitizing other birds. They build a well-hidden nest from twigs, bark, and leaves, usually in a tall tree.