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Coua Facts | Madagascar Wildlife Guide

Couas are related to cuckoos and coucals but are sufficiently distinct to warrant their own family, Couinae. Madagascar has five endemic families of these birds. Despite being largely forest birds, only three magpie-size species are arboreal—the blue coua from rain forests, the crested coua and Verreaux’s coua—and are found mainly in drier areas. These birds bear a striking resemblance to Africa’s touracos.

All couas share two conspicuous characteristics: featherless, blue skin around the eyes and long, broad tails. The six ground-dwelling species behave in a similar manner to the American roadrunner or the Old-World pheasants. The largest is the rather stately giant coua, which is often heard before it is seen. The running coua may be encountered sprinting through the spiny forest. It has an area of black skin on the rump that it exposes to the rays of the early morning sun after a particularly cold night. The red-capped coua and Coquerel’s coua, which inhabit the western and southern areas, also warm themselves in this way. The red-fronted coua and red-breasted coua are both rain forest birds.
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Madagascar Wildlife Adventure
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Madagascar Wildlife Adventure

Look for lemurs and much more as you explore the wondrous biodiversity of Madagascar on this small-group expedition to the planet's most unique island. Madagascar is truly a world apart!

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Botswana: Kalahari, the Delta & Beyond
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Botswana: Kalahari, the Delta & Beyond

Witness and photograph the spectacle of Botswana during the green season as the desert bursts forth with life, wildlife thrives upon seasonal water, and new births fill the plains.

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