About the Malleefowl

Also known as: lowan

The Malleefowl or lowan is a ground-dwelling bird from Australia. They're the largest mound builders in Australia, which the male builds from dirt, leaves and sticks it finds in the mallee forest.

Malleefowl are shy and solitary birds that usually only fly to escape danger or get in a tree to roost.

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Details & Statistics

Added to Birdorable
Hatched on 22 October 2009
Scientific Name
Leipoa ocellata
  • Galliformes
  • Megapodiidae
  • Leipoa
  • L. ocellata
Birdorable Family
Conservation Status
Vulnerable (as of 5 April 2020)
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
Units: Imperial / Metric
23 inches


From IUCN Red List:
The Malleefowl is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List and was last assessed in 2012 by BirdLife International. This species qualifies as Vulnerable because it has undergone a rapid decline over the last three generations (50 years), based on a decline in its range owing to habitat clearance and fragmentation, and the compounding effects of introduced species. There has been some recovery in parts of the range, but some reserves may prove too small to support viable populations without intensive management.

International Names

Czech (Cesky) Tabon Holubí
Danish (Dansk) Malleehøne
Dutch (Nederlands) Thermometervogel
Finnish (Suomi) Malleekana
French (Français) Léipoa Ocellé
German (Deutsch) Thermometerhuhn
Italian (Italiano) Fagiano Australiano
Japanese (日本語) クサムラツカツクリ (Kusamuratsukatsukuri)
Norwegian (Norsk) Malleeovnhøne
Polish (Polski) Nogal Prazkowany
Russian (русский язык) Глазчатая курица
Spanish (Español) Talégalo Leipoa
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Malleefowl: the Thermometer Bird

Malleefowl: the Thermometer Bird

Malleefowl are large ground-dwelling birds that live in Australia. They have a remarkable reproductive cycle that includes up to 11 months per year spent building, tending and maintaining a large nest mound ... more