Madagascar Cuckoo Roller (Leptosomus discolor)

Madagascar is a large island in the Indian Ocean. It is famous for its fauna and flora. it can be said that it is a paradise for bird lovers since several endemic species can be found in Madagascar’s rainforests. Madagascar Cuckoo Rollers are among the unique birds of Madagascar that you should spot when visiting this fascinating island.

The cuckoo-roller or courol (Leptosomus discolor) is specified within the family of Leptosomidae. It is in the order Leptosomiformes. The Cuckoo-roller’s name does not necessarily imply any evolutionary origin with the cuckoo or roller species.

Male Cuckoo rollers have velvety gray chests and heads, with white underparts, and dark green backs, tails, and purplish wing coverts. Their crowns and eye stripes are black. Female cuckoo rollers are mostly brown, with strongly dark-spotted pale underparts. Generally, Madagascar Cuckoo Roller has a stout bill, far-set eyes, and small legs and feet. Their feet are zygodactylous, as two toes are set forward, and two backward.

  Madagascar Cuckoo Roller inhabits forests and woodlands, spiny bush forests, and tree plantations, especially in Madagascar and the Comoro Islands, where three main subspecies are classified. They can be equally spotted in rainforests, litoral forests, and deciduous forests.
Madagascar Cuckoo Rollers nest in tall trees, around 6 m high, which is approximately between 13 ft and 20 ft off the ground. Female cuckoo rollers are smaller in size, and while incubating, male cuckoo rollers feed females. Four eggs are incubated in general for 20 days. 

Madagascar Cuckoo Rollers are revered by the population as they are believed to bring good luck. Therefore, they are not hunted by the local population. 

  However, habitat destruction has threatened Madagascar Cuckoo Rollers. The most common habitats include Madagascar’s forests in Zahamena, Andringitra, Andohahela, and Marojejy.
Madagascar Cuckoo Rollers feed on insects, locusts, caterpillars, and worms. Studies have revealed that they also prey on geckos and cicadas.

Birdwatching season is from August to late December. to make the most of your birding experience, going on a packaged tour is more enjoyable and satisfactory. Safari-Madagascar is an online travel agency based in Madagascar. It can offer interesting tours all around the year at reasonable prices. for a memorable 11-day birding experience, you can visit Madagascar’s rainforests and spot many birds. on the website, Safari-Madagascar offers unique experiences for you and your travel companion.


    • Eva F. Andrianarivo
      12 April 2024

      Thanks, that’s a great idea

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