|Male Red Fody in breeding plumage.|
L. Reichenbach, 1850
Fodies are small passerine birds belonging to the genus Foudia in the weaver family Ploceidae. They are native to the islands of the western Indian Ocean where they occur on Madagascar, the Seychelles, the Comoro Islands and the Mascarene Islands. The Red Fody has also been introduced to the Chagos Archipelago, Bahrain and Saint Helena. While the Red Fody is one of the most common birds of the region, several of the other fodies are considered to be threatened, particularly the Mauritius Fody which is classed as endangered.
The birds are 12 to 15 centimetres (4.7 to 5.9 in) long and have short, conical bills. Males in breeding plumage are usually colourful with bright red or yellow on the head and sometimes elsewhere. Non-breeding males and females are dull, sparrow-like birds with mostly grey-brown plumage.
Fodies are typically found in forest, woodland or scrubland but some also occur in man-made habitats, especially the Red Fody. Some species feed mainly on seeds while others are largely insectivorous. Fodies build a dome-shaped nest of grass and other plant material. It has a side-opening and it is suspended from a branch or palm leaf.
Six species are generally recognized but some authors consider the Aldabra Fody to be a separate species from the Red-headed Fody.
- Red Fody or Madagascar Fody, Foudia madagascariensis
- Red-headed Fody or Comoro Fody, Foudia eminentissima
- Aldabra Fody, Foudia (eminentissima) aldabrana
- Forest Fody, Foudia omissa
- Mauritius Fody, Foudia rubra
- Seychelles Fody, Foudia sechellarum
- Rodrigues Fody, Foudia flavicans
|Wikispecies has information related to: Foudia|
- Sinclair, Ian & Langrand, Olivier (1998) Birds of the Indian Ocean Islands, Struik, Cape Town.
- Skerrett, Adrian; Bullock, Ian & Disley, Tony (2001) Birds of Seychelles, Christopher Helm, London.