The cuckoos are a fascinating group with a cosmopolitan distribution, and exhibit great diversity of form and life history. Owing to their generally secretive nature, many cuckoos are among the least known of the Worlds birds, and the Red-faced Malkoha, Phaenicophaeus pyrrhocephalus, is no exception.
The large-billed and boldly patterned malkohas are restricted to the Oriental region, and are represented in Sri Lanka by Blue-faced Malkoha, Phaenicophaeus viridirostris, Sirkeer Malkoha, P. leschenaultii, and Red-faced Malkoha, P. pyrrhocephalus. The former are also found in South India, but even the distributional range of the last remains the subject of controversy. This article aims to provide a summary of current knowledge, indicate the status of current populations and examine possible future trends.