List of birds of Madagascar

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Sickle-billed Vanga belongs to the family Vangidae, one of Madagascar's endemic families.

Madagascar is an island nation located off the southeastern coast of Africa. Because of its long separation from neighboring continents—through tectonic movement, it split from Africa about 160 million years ago, and from India around 90 million years ago—it contains many species endemic to the island.[1][2] Of the 294 bird species recorded on Madagascar, 105 are found nowhere else on earth, and a handful of others are shared only with the neighbouring Comoro Islands.

This list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families, and species) and nomenclature (common and scientific names) follow the conventions of Clements's 6th edition. The family accounts at the beginning of each heading reflects this taxonomy, as do the species counts found in each family account. Introduced and accidental species are included in the total counts for Madagascar.

Species status comments are taken from Morris and Hawkins' Birds of Madagascar: A Photographic Guide unless otherwise noted. The IUCN Red List codes are those given by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources; they come from the IUCN's Red List website.[3]

Table legend[edit]

  (*) Species endemic to Madagascar
  (%) Species introduced to Madagascar
IUCN Red List Codes
Code Description
CR Critically endangered
EN Endangered
EX Extinct
LC Least concern
NT Near threatened
VU Vulnerable
Table of contents

Non-passerines: DucksGuineafowlPartridges and quailsGrebesFlamingosPenguinsAlbatrossesShearwaters and petrelsStorm petrelsTropicbirdsBoobies and gannetsPelicansCormorantsDartersFrigatebirdsBitterns, herons and egretsIbises and spoonbillsHamerkopStorksOspreyHawks, kites and eaglesFalconsMesitesRails, crakes, gallinules, and cootsPloversCrab PloverAvocets and stiltsJacanasSandpipers and alliesButtonquailsPratincolesPainted snipeGulls and ternsSkuasSandgrousePigeons and dovesParrots and alliesCuckoosBarn owlsTypical owlsNightjarsSwiftsKingfishersBee-eatersTypical rollersGround-rollersCuckoo-rollerHoopoes

Passerines: AsitiesWattle-eyesVangasCuckoo-shrikesOld World oriolesDrongosMonarch flycatchersCrowsLarksSwallows and martinsBulbulsCisticolasOld World warblersOld World flycatchersBabblersStarlingsSunbirdsWagtailsSparrowsWhite-eyesWeavers and alliesWaxbills and allies

See also       References       External links

Ducks and geese[edit]

The Hottentot Teal, Madagascar's smallest teal, is more common in the west than elsewhere on the island.[4]

Order: Anseriformes. Family: Anatidae

The family Anatidae includes the ducks and most duck-like waterfowl, such as geese and swans. These are birds that are modified for an aquatic existence with webbed feet, flattened bills and feathers that are excellent at shedding water due to an oily coating. There are 131 species worldwide and 10 species which occur in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
White-faced Whistling-Duck Dendrocygna viduata Common resident, LC
Fulvous Whistling-Duck Dendrocygna bicolor Uncommon resident, LC
White-backed Duck Thalassornis leuconotus Rare resident, LC
Comb Duck Sarkidiornis melanotos Locally common resident, LC
African Pygmy-goose Nettapus auritus Common resident, LC
Meller's Duck* Anas melleri Uncommon resident, EN
Red-billed Duck Anas erythrorhyncha Common resident, LC
Hottentot Teal Anas hottentota Locally common resident, LC
Bernier's Teal* Anas bernieri Rare resident, EN
Madagascan Pochard* Aythya innotata Recently rediscovered, CR

Guineafowl[edit]

Order: Galliformes. Family: Numididae

Guineafowl are a group of African, seed-eating, ground-nesting birds that resemble partridges, but with featherless heads and spangled grey plumage. There are six species worldwide and one species has been introduced to Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Helmeted Guineafowl% Numida meleagris Common resident, LC

Partridges and quails[edit]

The Harlequin Quail breeds occasionally in Madagascar.[5]

Order: Galliformes. Family: Phasianidae

The Phasianidae are a family of terrestrial birds which consists of quails, partridges, snowcocks, francolins, spurfowls, tragopans, monals, pheasants, peafowls and jungle fowls. In general, they are plump (although they may vary in size) and have broad, relatively short wings. There are 156 species worldwide and 3 species which occur in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Madagascan Partridge* Margaroperdix madagascarensis Uncommon resident, LC
Common Quail Coturnix coturnix Uncommon resident, LC
Harlequin Quail Coturnix delegorguei Uncommon visitor, LC

Grebes[edit]

The Little Grebe is common on fresh and brackish waters, particularly in western wetlands and the northern highlands.[6]

Order: Podicipediformes. Family: Podicipedidae

Grebes are small to medium-sized diving birds. They breed on fresh water, but often visit the sea whilst migrating and in winter. They have lobed toes and are excellent swimmers and divers; however, their feet are placed far back on their bodies, making them quite ungainly on land. There are 19 species worldwide.[7][8] Of these, three species have been recorded in Madagascar. One, the Alaotra Grebe, is now confirmed as extinct.[8]

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Alaotra Grebe* Tachybaptus rufolavatus Extinct, EX[8]
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis Locally common resident, LC
Madagascan Grebe* Tachybaptus pelzelnii Uncommon resident, VU

Flamingos[edit]

Order: Phoenicopteriformes. Family: Phoenicopteridae

Flamingos are gregarious wading birds, usually 3 to 5 feet high, found in both the Western and Eastern Hemispheres. They are more numerous in the latter. Flamingos filter-feed on shellfish and algae. Their oddly shaped beaks are specially adapted to separate mud and silt from the food they consume, and are uniquely used upside-down. There are 6 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus Regular, rare breeder, LC
Lesser Flamingo Phoenicopterus minor Erratic migrant, NT

Penguins[edit]

Penguins are flightless, aquatic birds which live almost exclusively in the Southern Hemisphere. Their plumage — which consists of tiny, stiff, undifferentiated feathers—is black, grey or blue above and white below. They breed in colonies, which are often very large, and hunt underwater, feeding on krill, fish and squid.[9] A single species has been found once in Madagascar; it may have been released by sailors.[10]

Common Name Scientific Name Status Reference
Southern Rockhopper Penguin Eudyptes chrysocome Very rare vagrant, VU [10]

Albatrosses[edit]

There are few recent records of Black-browed Albatross, which was formerly frequent in Madagascar waters.[11]

Order: Procellariiformes. Family: Diomedeidae

The albatrosses are among the largest of flying birds, and the great albatrosses from the genus Diomedea have the largest wingspans of any extant birds. There are 21 species worldwide and three species which occur in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Yellow-nosed Albatross Thalassarche chlororhynchos Rare vagrant, EN
Shy Albatross Thalassarche cauta Rare vagrant, NT
Black-browed Albatross Thalassarche melanophrys Rare vagrant, EN

Shearwaters and petrels[edit]

Order: Procellariiformes. Family: Procellariidae

The procellariids are the main group of medium-sized 'true petrels', characterised by united nostrils with a medium septum, and a long outer functional primary. There are 75 species worldwide and 11 species which occur in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Southern Giant Petrel Macronectes giganteus Regular offshore, NT
Cape Petrel Daption capense Offshore migrant, LC
Great-winged Petrel Pterodroma macroptera Uncommon, LC
Soft-plumaged Petrel Pterodroma mollis Very rare vagrant, LC
Barau's Petrel Pterodroma baraui Very rare vagrant, EN
Antarctic Prion Pachyptila desolata Offshore migrant, LC
Slender-billed Prion Pachyptila belcheri Rare vagrant, LC
Jouanin's Petrel Bulweria fallax Very rare vagrant, LC
Cory's Shearwater Calonectris diomedea Very rare vagrant, LC
Flesh-footed Shearwater Puffinus carneipes (A) Very rare vagrant, LC
Wedge-tailed Shearwater Puffinus pacificus Uncommon offshore, LC

Storm petrels[edit]

Though not often seen from land, the Wilson's Storm Petrel is regularly recorded on migration through Malagasy waters, sometimes in large numbers.[12]

Storm petrels are small birds which spend most of their lives at sea, coming ashore only to breed. They feed on planktonic crustaceans and small fish picked from the surface, typically whilst hovering or pattering across the water. Their flight is fluttering and sometimes bat-like.[13]

Common Name Scientific Name Status Reference
Wilson's Storm Petrel Oceanites oceanicus Regular migrant, LC [14]
White-faced Storm Petrel Pelagodroma marina Very rare vagrant, LC [15]
White-bellied Storm Petrel Fregetta grallaria Very rare vagrant, LC [16]
Black-bellied Storm Petrel Fregetta tropica Regular, LC [16]

Tropicbirds[edit]

Order: Pelecaniformes. Family: Phaethontidae

Tropicbirds are medium-sized seabirds found primarily in tropical oceans; they typically come ashore only to breed. They are predominantly white, with elongated central tail feathers. When hunting for the flying fish (and occasional squid) they feed on, they hover above the water, then plunge dive in after their prey. There are three species worldwide, all of which have been recorded in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
White-tailed Tropicbird Phaethon lepturus Visiting breeder, LC
Red-billed Tropicbird Phaethon aethereus Very rare vagrant, LC
Red-tailed Tropicbird Phaethon rubricauda Visiting breeder, LC

Boobies and gannets[edit]

Order: Pelecaniformes. Family: Sulidae

The sulids comprise the gannets and boobies. Both groups comprise medium-to-large coastal seabirds that plunge-dive for fish. There are 9 species worldwide, three of which occur in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Masked Booby Sula dactylatra Very rare vagrant, LC
Brown Booby Sula leucogaster Visiting breeder, LC
Red-footed Booby Sula sula Uncommon visitor, LC

Pelicans[edit]

Pink-backed Pelicans bred in Madagascar in the late 1950s and early 1960s, but have only been recorded a few times since.[17]

Pelicans are very large water birds with distinctive pouches under their beaks. Found along both inland and coastal waterways, they are primarily fish-eaters. Many species hunt in groups, chasing fish into shallow waters and then scooping them up in their huge bills, but one plunge-dives after prey. They nest colonially.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Pink-backed Pelican Pelecanus rufescens Rare vagrant, LC

Cormorants[edit]

Order: Pelecaniformes. Family: Phalacrocoracidae

The Phalacrocoracidae is a family of medium-to-large coastal, fish-eating seabirds that includes cormorants and shags. Plumage colouration varies with the majority having mainly dark plumage, some species being black and white, and a few being colourful. There are 38 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Long-tailed Cormorant Phalacrocorax africanus Resident, LC


Darters[edit]

Order: Pelecaniformes. Family: Anhingidae

Darters are frequently referred to as "snake-birds" because of their long thin neck, which gives a snake-like appearance when they swim with their bodies submerged. The males have black and dark brown plumage, an erectile crest on the nape and a larger bill than the female. The females have a much paler plumage especially on the neck and underparts. The darters have completely webbed feet, and their legs are short and set far back on the body. Their plumage is somewhat permeable, like that of cormorants, and they spread their wings to dry after diving. There are 4 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
African Darter Anhinga rufa Resident, LC

Frigatebirds[edit]

The Greater Frigatebird is typically found soaring in groups high above the ocean, often in thermals.[18]

Order: Pelecaniformes. Family: Fregatidae

Frigatebirds are large seabirds usually found over tropical oceans. They are large, black-and-white or completely black, with long wings and deeply forked tails. The males have inflatable coloured throat pouches. They do not swim or walk, and cannot take off from a flat surface. Having the largest wingspan-to-body-weight ratio of any bird, they are essentially aerial, able to stay aloft for more than a week. There are 5 species worldwide, two of which occur in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Greater Frigatebird Fregata minor Casual visitor, LC
Lesser Frigatebird Fregata ariel Casual visitor, LC

Bitterns, herons and egrets[edit]

The globally threatened Humblot's Heron is endemic to Madagascar, though it may also breed on the Comoros.[19]

Order: Ciconiiformes. Family: Ardeidae

The family Ardeidae contains the bitterns, herons and egrets. Herons and egrets are medium to large sized wading birds with long necks and legs. Bitterns tend to be shorter necked and more wary. Unlike other long-necked birds suck as storks, ibises and spoonbills, members of Ardeidae fly with their necks retracted. There are 61 species worldwide, 14 of which occur in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Little Bittern Ixobrychus minutus Scarce breeder, LC
Black-crowned Night-Heron Nycticorax nycticorax Uncommon resident, LC
Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides Common resident, LC
Madagascar Pond-Heron Ardeola idae Visiting breeder, LC
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis Common resident, LC
Striated Heron Butorides striata Fairly common resident, LC
Black Heron Egretta ardesiaca Fairly common resident, LC
Dimorphic Egret Egretta dimorpha Fairly common resident, LC
Great Egret Ardea alba Common resident, LC
Purple Heron Ardea purpurea Fairly common resident, LC
Gray Heron Ardea cinerea Fairly common resident, LC
Black-headed Heron Ardea melanocephala Very rare vagrant, LC
Humblot's Heron Ardea humbloti Uncommon resident, EN
Goliath Heron Ardea goliath Very rare vagrant, LC

Ibises and spoonbills[edit]

The endemic, forest-dwelling Madagascar Crested Ibis is heavily hunted, despite being legally protected.[20]

Order: Ciconiiformes. Family: Threskiornithidae

The Threskiornithidae is a family of large terrestrial and wading birds which includes the ibises and spoonbills. They have long, broad wings with 11 primary and about 20 secondary feathers. They are strong fliers and despite their size and weight, very capable soarers. There are 36 species worldwide and 4 species which occur in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Madagascar White Ibis Threskiornis bernieri Rare resident, EN
Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus Common resident, LC
Madagascar Crested Ibis* Lophotibis cristata Rare resident, NT
African Spoonbill Platalea alba Uncommon resident, LC

Hamerkop[edit]

The widespread Hamerkop builds an enormous dome-shaped nest.[21]

Order: Ciconiiformes. Family: Scopidae

The Hamerkop is a medium-sized bird with a long shaggy crest. The shape of its head with a curved bill and crest at the back is reminiscent of a hammer, hence its name. Its plumage is a drab brown all over.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Hamerkop Scopus umbretta Resident, LC

Storks[edit]

Order: Ciconiiformes. Family: Ciconiidae

Storks are large, long-legged, long-necked, wading birds with long, stout bills. Storks are mute; bill-clattering is an important mode of stork communication at the nest. Their nests can be large and may be reused for many years. Many species are migratory. There are 19 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Yellow-billed Stork Mycteria ibis Locally common, LC
African Openbill Stork Anastomus lamelligerus Resident, LC

Osprey[edit]

Order: Falconiformes Family: Pandionidae

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Osprey Pandion haliaetus Rare vagrant, LC

Hawks, kites and eagles[edit]

The Madagascan Fish Eagle is critically endangered, with a breeding population of fewer than 100 pairs.[22]

Order: Falconiformes. Family: Accipitridae

Accipitridae is a family of birds of prey and include hawks, eagles, kites, harriers and Old World vultures. These birds have powerful hooked beaks for tearing flesh from their prey, strong legs, powerful talons, and keen eyesight. There are 233 species worldwide and 13 species which occur in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Madagascar Baza* Aviceda madagascariensis
Bat Hawk Macheiramphus alcinus
Black-shouldered Kite Elanus caeruleus
Yellow-billed Kite Milvus aegyptius
Madagascan Fish Eagle* Haliaeetus vociferoides
Madagascan Serpent Eagle* Eutriorchis astur
Madagascan Harrier-Hawk* Polyboroides radiatus
Madagascar Marsh Harrier* Circus macrosceles
Henst's Goshawk* Accipiter henstii
Madagascan Sparrowhawk* Accipiter madagascariensis
Frances's Goshawk* Accipiter francesii
Madagascan Buzzard* Buteo brachypterus

Falcons[edit]

Order: Falconiformes. Family: Falconidae

Falconidae is a family of diurnal birds of prey. They differ from hawks, eagles, and kites in that they kill with their beaks instead of their feet. There are 62 species worldwide and 5 species which occur in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Madagascar Kestrel Falco newtoni Resident, LC
Banded Kestrel* Falco zoniventris Uncommon resident, LC
Eleonora's Falcon Falco eleonorae Winter visitor, LC
Sooty Falcon Falco concolor Winter visitor, LC
Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus Scarce resident, LC
The Subdesert Mesite is restricted to a coastal strip of dry, spiny forest in southwestern Madagascar.[23]

Mesites[edit]

Order: Gruiformes. Family: Mesitornithidae

Common Name Scientific Name Status
White-breasted Mesite* Mesitornis variegata Locally common resident, VU
Brown Mesite* Mesitornis unicolor Uncommon resident, VU
Subdesert Mesite* Monias benschi Uncommon resident, VU

Rails, crakes, gallinules, and coots[edit]

Order: Gruiformes. Family: Rallidae

Rallidae is a large family of small to medium-sized birds which includes the rails, crakes, flufftails, coots, and gallinules. Typically they inhabit dense vegetation in damp environments near lakes, swamps, or rivers. In general they are shy and secretive birds, difficult to observe. Most species have strong legs, and have long toes which are well adapted to soft, uneven surfaces. They tend to have short, rounded wings and be weak fliers. There are 144 species worldwide and 12 species which occur in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Madagascan Flufftail* Sarothrura insularis
Slender-billed Flufftail* Sarothrura watersi
Madagascar Wood-rail* Canirallus kioloides
Tsingy Wood Rail* Mentocrex beankaensis [24]
Madagascan Rail* Rallus madagascariensis
White-throated Rail Dryolimnas cuvieri
Sakalava Rail* Amaurornis olivieri
Baillon's Crake Porzana pusilla
Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio
Allen's Gallinule Porphyrio alleni
Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
Red-knobbed Coot Fulica cristata
Corncrake Crex crex

Plovers[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes. Family: Charadriidae

The family Charadriidae includes the plovers, dotterels, and lapwings. They are small to medium-sized birds with compact bodies, short, thick necks and long, usually pointed, wings. They are found in open country worldwide, mostly in habitats near water, although there are some exceptions. There are 66 species worldwide and 9 species which occur in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula
Kittlitz's Plover Charadrius pecuarius
Madagascan Plover* Charadrius thoracicus
Three-banded Plover Charadrius tricollaris
White-fronted Plover Charadrius marginatus
Lesser Sandplover Charadrius mongolus
Greater Sandplover Charadrius leschenaultii
Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola

Crab-plover[edit]

The Crab-plover is a common visitor to the island's west coast.[25]

Order: Charadriiformes. Family: Dromadidae

The Crab-plover is related to the waders. It resembles a plover but with very long grey legs and a strong heavy black bill similar to a tern. It has black-and-white plumage, a long neck, partially webbed feet and a bill designed for eating crabs.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Crab-plover Dromas ardeola Common visitor, LC

Avocets and stilts[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes. Family: Recurvirostridae

Recurvirostridae is a family of large wading birds, which includes the avocets and the stilts. The avocets have long legs and long up-curved bills. The stilts have extremely long legs and long, thin, straight bills. There are 9 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus Fairly common resident, LC
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta Very rare vagrant, LC

Jacanas[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes. Family: Jacanidae

The jacanas are a group of tropical waders in the family Jacanidae. They are found worldwide in the Tropics. They are identifiable by their huge feet and claws which enable them to walk on floating vegetation in the shallow lakes that are their preferred habitat. There 8 species worldwide and one species which occurs in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Madagascan Jacana* Actophilornis albinucha

Sandpipers and allies[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes. Family: Scolopacidae

The Scolopacidae are a large diverse family of small to medium sized shorebirds including the sandpipers, curlews, godwits, shanks, tattlers, woodcocks, snipes, dowitchers and phalaropes. The majority of species eat small invertebrates picked out of the mud or soil. Variation in length of legs and bills enable different species to feed in the same habitat, particularly on the coast, without direct competition for food. There are 89 species worldwide and 17 species which occur in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Madagascan Snipe* Gallinago macrodactyla
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica
Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus
Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata
Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis
Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia
Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus
Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola
Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinereus
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres
Sanderling Calidris alba
Little Stint Calidris minuta
Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea
Ruff Philomachus pugnax

Buttonquails[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes. Family: Turnicidae

The buttonquails are small, drab, running birds which resemble the true quails. The female is the brighter of the sexes, and initiates courtship. The male incubates the eggs and tends the young. There are 16 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Madagascan Buttonquail* Turnix nigricollis Common resident, LC

Pratincoles[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes. Family: Glareolidae

Glareolidae is a family of wading birds comprising the pratincoles, which have short legs, long pointed wings and long forked tails, and the coursers, which have long legs, short wings and long, pointed bills which curve downwards. There are 17 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Madagascan Pratincole Glareola ocularis

Painted snipe[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes. Family: Rostratulidae

Painted snipe are short-legged, long-billed birds similar in shape to the true snipes, but more brightly coloured. There are 2 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Greater Painted-snipe Rostratula benghalensis

Gulls[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes. Family: Laridae

Laridae is a family of medium to large birds seabirds and includes gulls and kittiwakes. They are typically grey or white, often with black markings on the head or wings. They have stout, longish bills and webbed feet. There are 55 species worldwide and two species which occur in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus
Gray-headed Gull Larus cirrocephalus

Terns[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes. Family: Sternidae

Terns are a group of generally general medium to large seabirds typically with grey or white plumage, often with black markings on the head. Most terns hunt fish by diving but some pick insects off the surface of fresh water. Terns are generally long-lived birds, with several species now known to live in excess of 25 to 30 years. There are 44 species worldwide and 18 species which occur in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Gull-billed Tern Sterna nilotica
Caspian Tern Sterna caspia
Greater Crested Tern Sterna bergii
Lesser Crested Tern Sterna bengalensis
Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis
Black-naped Tern Sterna sumatrana
Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii
Common Tern Sterna hirundo
Bridled Tern Sterna anaethetus
Sooty Tern Sterna fuscata
Saunders's Tern Sterna saundersi
Damara Tern Sterna balaenarum
Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybridus
Black Tern Chlidonias niger
White-winged Tern Chlidonias leucopterus
Brown Noddy Anous stolidus
Lesser Noddy Anous tenuirostris
White Tern Gygis alba

Skuas[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes. Family: Stercorariidae

The family Stercorariidae are, in general, medium to large birds, typically with grey or brown plumage, often with white markings on the wings. They nest on the ground in temperate and arctic regions and are long-distance migrants. There are 7 species worldwide and 3 species which occur in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Brown Skua Stercorarius antarctica
Pomarine Skua Sterocorarius pomarinus
Arctic Skua Stercorarius parasiticus
Long-tailed Skua Stercorarius longicaudus

Sandgrouse[edit]

Order: Pterocliformes. Family: Pteroclidae

Sandgrouse have small, pigeon like heads and necks, but sturdy compact bodies. They have long pointed wings and sometimes tails and a fast direct flight. Flocks fly to watering holes at dawn and dusk. Their legs are feathered down to the toes. There are 16 species worldwide, one of which occurs in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Madagascan Sandgrouse* Pterocles personatus LC

Pigeons and doves[edit]

Order: Columbiformes. Family: Columbidae

Pigeons and doves are stout-bodied birds with short necks and short slender bills with a fleshy cere. There are 308 species worldwide and five species which occur in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Rock Pigeon% Columba livia
Malagasy Turtle Dove Streptopelia picturata
Namaqua Dove Oena capensis
Madagascan Green Pigeon Treron australis
Madagascan Blue Pigeon* Alectroenas madagascariensis

Parrots and allies[edit]

Order: Psittaciformes. Family: Psittacidae

Parrots are small to large birds with a characteristic curved beak shape. Their upper mandibles have slight mobility in the joint with the skull and they have a generally erect stance. All parrots are zygodactyl, having the four toes on each foot placed two at the front and two back. There are 335 species worldwide and three species which occur in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Greater Vasa Parrot* Coracopsis vasa
Lesser Vasa Parrot Coracopsis nigra
Grey-headed Lovebird* Agapornis canus

Cuckoos[edit]

The Giant Coua feeds on the ground, primarily on insects.[26]

Order: Cuculiformes. Family: Cuculidae

The family Cuculidae includes cuckoos, roadrunners and anis. These birds are of variable size with slender bodies, long tails and strong legs. Unlike the cuckoo species of the Old World, North American cuckoos are not brood parasites. There are 138 species worldwide and 12 species which occur in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Thick-billed Cuckoo Pachycoccyx audeberti
Madagascar Lesser Cuckoo Cuculus rochii
Giant Coua* Coua gigas
Coquerel's Coua* Coua coquereli
Running Coua* Coua cursor
Red-breasted Coua* Coua serriana
Red-fronted Coua* Coua reynaudii
Red-capped Coua* Coua ruficeps
Crested Coua* Coua cristata
Verreaux's Coua* Coua verreauxi
Blue Coua* Coua caerulea
Madagascar Coucal Centropus toulou

Barn owls[edit]

Order: Strigiformes. Family: Tytonidae

Barn owls are medium to large sized owls with large heads and characteristic heart-shaped faces. They have long strong legs with powerful talons. There are 16 species worldwide and two species which occur in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Red Owl* Tyto soumagnei
Barn Owl Tyto alba

Typical owls[edit]

Order: Strigiformes. Family: Strigidae

Typical owls are small to large solitary nocturnal birds of prey. They have large forward-facing eyes and ears, a hawk-like beak, and a conspicuous circle of feathers around each eye called a facial disk. There are 195 species worldwide and five species which occur in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Malagasy Scops-Owl* Otus rutilus
Torotoroka Scops-Owl* Otus madagascariensis
White-browed Owl Ninox superciliaris
Madagascan Owl* Asio madagascariensis
Marsh Owl Asio capensis

Nightjars[edit]

Order: Caprimulgiformes. Family: Caprimulgidae

Nightjars are medium-sized nocturnal birds with long wings, short legs and very short bills that usually nest on the ground. Most have small feet, of little use for walking, and long pointed wings. Their soft plumage is camouflaged to resemble bark or leaves. There are 86 species worldwide and two species which occur in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Collared Nightjar* Caprimulgus enarratus
Madagascan Nightjar Caprimulgus madagascariensis

Swifts[edit]

The African Palm-Swift is common and widespread, particularly in coastal lowland areas with tall palms.

[27]

Order: Apodiformes. Family: Apodidae

Swifts are small aerial birds, spending the majority of their lives flying. These birds have very short legs and never settle voluntarily on the ground, perching instead only on vertical surfaces. Many swifts have long swept-back wings that resemble a crescent or a boomerang. There are 98 species worldwide and six species which occur in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Malagasy Spinetail Zoonavena grandidieri Widespread resident, LC
African Palm Swift Cypsiurus parvus Widespread resident, LC
Alpine Swift Tachymarptis melba Widespread resident, LC
Little Swift Apus affinis Recent colonist, LC
Madagascar Swift Apus balstoni Widespread resident, LC

Kingfishers[edit]

The tiny Madagascar Pygmy-Kingfisher is found in forests with dense understory.

Order: Coraciiformes. Family: Alcedinidae

Kingfishers are medium-sized birds with large heads, long, pointed bills, short legs, and stubby tails. There are 93 species worldwide and two species which occur in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Malagasy Kingfisher Alcedo vintsioides Common resident, LC
Madagascar Pygmy-Kingfisher* Ispidina madagascariensis Common resident, LC

Bee-eaters[edit]

Order: Coraciiformes. Family: Meropidae

The bee-eaters are a group of near passerine birds in the family Meropidae. Most species are found in Africa but others occur in southern Europe, Madagascar, Australia and New Guinea. They are characterised by richly coloured plumage, slender bodies and usually elongated central tail feathers. All are colorful and have long downturned bills and pointed wings, which give them a swallow-like appearance when seen from afar. There are 26 species worldwide and two species which occur in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Madagascar Bee-eater Merops superciliosus
European Bee-eater Merops apiaster Single vagrant record, LC

Typical rollers[edit]

Order: Coraciiformes. Family: Coraciidae

Rollers resemble crows in size and build, but are more closely related to the kingfishers and bee-eaters. They share the colourful appearance of those groups with blues and browns predominating. The two inner front toes are connected, but the outer toe is not. There are 12 species worldwide, one of which occurs in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Broad-billed Roller Eurystomus glaucurus

Ground-rollers[edit]

The scarce and secretive Short-legged Ground Roller is threatened by habitat destruction and degradation.[28]

Order: Coraciiformes. Family: Brachypteraciidae

The ground-roller are a small family of non-migratory near-passerine birds. They resemble the true rollers. All five species are found only in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Short-legged Ground Roller* Brachypteracias leptosomus Resident, VU
Scaly Ground Roller* Brachypteracias squamigera Resident, VU
Pitta-like Ground Roller* Atelornis pittoides Resident, NT
Rufous-headed Ground Roller* Atelornis crossleyi Resident, VU
Long-tailed Ground Roller* Uratelornis chimaera Resident, VU

Cuckoo-roller[edit]

The Cuckoo-roller is found in forests and woodlands throughout the island.

Order: Coraciiformes. Family: Leptosomatidae

The Cuckoo-roller is an insectivorous medium-sized bird of the forests of Madagascar and the Comoros. Unlike the true rollers and ground rollers, where the sexes have identical appearance, the male and female Cuckoo Roller have distinctive plumages. Males are mostly velvety grey. The back, tail, and wings are dark shiny green. They have a black eyestripe. Females and young birds are mostly brown marked with darker streaks. One species occurs on Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Cuckoo-roller Leptosomus discolor

Hoopoes[edit]

Order: Coraciiformes. Family: Upupidae

Hoopoes have black, white and orangey-pink colouring with a large erectile crest on their head. There are 2 species worldwide, one of which occurs in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Madagascan Hoopoe Upupa marginata

Asities[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Philepittidae

The asities are small plump bird, which are likely to be related to the broadbills. All four species are found only in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Velvet Asity* Philepitta castanea
Schlegel's Asity* Philepitta schlegeli
Common Sunbird-asity* Neodrepanis coruscans
Yellow-bellied Sunbird-asity* Neodrepanis hypoxanthus

Wattle-eyes[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Platysteiridae

The wattle-eyes or puffback flycatchers are small stout passerine birds of the African tropics. They get their name from the brightly coloured fleshy eye decorations found in most species in this group. There are 31 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Ward's Flycatcher* Pseudobias wardi Range-restricted resident, NT

Vangas[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Vangidae

The White-headed Vanga is widespread and found in all types of forest.

The vangas are shrike-like, arboreal forest birds, feeding on reptiles, frogs and insects. There are 15 species.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Red-tailed Vanga* Calicalicus madagascariensis Fairly common resident, LC
Red-shouldered Vanga* Calicalicus rufocarpalis Uncommon resident, VU
Rufous Vanga* Schetba rufa
Hook-billed Vanga* Vanga curvirostris
Lafresnaye's Vanga* Xenopirostris xenopirostris
Pollen's Vanga* Xenopirostris polleni
Van Dam's Vanga* Xenopirostris damii
Sickle-billed Vanga* Falculea palliata
White-headed Vanga* Artamella viridis
Chabert's Vanga* Leptopterus chabert
Blue Vanga* Cyanolanius madagascarinus
Bernier's Vanga* Oriolia bernieri
Helmet Vanga* Euryceros prevostii
Nuthatch Vanga* Hypositta corallirostris
Tylas Vanga* Tylas eduardi

Cuckoo-shrikes[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Campephagidae

The cuckoo-shrikes are small to medium-sized passerine birds. They are predominantly greyish with white and black, although some species are brightly coloured. There are 82 species worldwide, one of which occurs in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Ashy Cuckoo-shrike Coracina cinerea

Old World orioles[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Oriolidae

The Old World Orioles are colourful passerine birds. They are not related to the New World orioles. There are 29 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Eurasian Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus

Drongos[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Dicruridae

The drongos are mostly are black or dark grey in colour, sometimes with metallic tints. They have long forked tails, and some Asian species have elaborate tail decorations. They have short legs and sit very upright whilst perched, like a shrike. They flycatch or take prey from the ground. There are 24 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Crested Drongo Dicrurus forficatus Common resident, LC

Monarch flycatchers[edit]

The Madagascar Paradise-flycatcher is a regional endemic, found in both Madagascar and the Comoros.[29]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Monarchidae

The monarch flycatchers are small to medium-sized insectivorous passerines, which hunt by flycatching. There are 99 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Madagascar Paradise-flycatcher Terpsiphone mutata Common resident, LC

Crows[edit]

The Pied Crow is common in open habitats across the island.[30]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Corvidae

The Corvidae family includes crows, ravens, jays, choughs, magpies, treepies, nutcrackers, and ground jays. Corvids are above average in size for the bird order Passeriformes. Some of the larger species show high levels of learning behavior. There are 120 species worldwide, one of which occurs in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Pied Crow Corvus albus Common resident, LC

Larks[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Alaudidae

Larks are small terrestrial birds with often extravagant songs and display flights. Most larks are fairly dull in appearance. Their food is insects and seeds. There are 91 species worldwide, one of which occurs in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Madagascan Lark* Mirafra hova

Swallows and martins[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Hirundinidae

The Hirundinidae family is a group of passerines characterized by their adaptation to aerial feeding. Their adaptations include a slender streamlined body, long pointed wings and short bills with wide gape. The feet are designed for perching rather than walking, and the front toes are partially joined at the base. There are 75 species worldwide and four species which occur in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Mascarene Martin Phedina borbonica
Sand Martin Riparia riparia
Brown-throated Martin Riparia paludicola
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica

Bulbuls[edit]

The Long-billed Greenbul is now considered to be a Malagasy warbler.

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Pycnonotidae

Bulbuls are medium-sized songbirds. Some are colourful with yellow, red or orange vents, cheeks, throat or supercilia, but most are drab, with uniform olive-brown to black plumage. Some species have distinct crests. There are 130 species worldwide and six species which occur in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Long-billed Greenbul* Phyllastrephus madagascariensis
Spectacled Greenbul* Phyllastrephus zosterops
Appert's Greenbul* Phyllastrephus apperti
Dusky Greenbul* Phyllastrephus tenebrosus
Gray-crowned Greenbul* Phyllastrephus cinereiceps
Madagascar Bulbul Hypsipetes madagascariensis

Cisticolas[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Cisticolidae

The Cisticolidae are warblers found mainly in warmer southern regions of the Old World. They are generally very small birds of drab brown or grey appearance found in open country such as grassland or scrub. There are 111 species worldwide, one of which occurs in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Madagascan Cisticola Cisticola cherinus

Old World warblers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Sylviidae

The family Sylviidae is a group of small insectivorous passerine birds. The Sylviidae mainly occur as breeding species, as the common name implies, in Europe, Asia and, to a lesser extent Africa. Most are of generally undistinguished appearance, but many have distinctive songs. There are 291 species worldwide and 11 species which occur in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Brown Emu-tail* Dromaeocercus brunneus
Grey Emu-tail* Dromaeocercus seebohmi
Madagascar Brush Warbler* Nesillas typica (E)
Thamnornis* Thamnornis chloropetoides
Madagascan Swamp Warbler* Acrocephalus newtoni
Rand's warbler* Randia pseudozosterops
Dark Newtonia* Newtonia amphichroa
Common Newtonia* Newtonia brunneicauda
Archbold's Newtonia* Newtonia archboldi
Red-tailed Newtonia* Newtonia fanovanae
Cryptic Warbler* Cryptosylvicola randriansoloi

Old World flycatchers[edit]

There are multiple subspecies of the endemic Madagascar Magpie Robin found across the island, differing in the amount of black in the adult male's plumage.[31]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Muscicapidae

Old World flycatchers are a large group of small passerine birds native to the Old World. They are mainly small arboreal insectivores. The appearance of these birds is very varied, but they mostly have weak songs and harsh calls. There 274 species worldwide, three of which have occurred in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status Reference
Madagascar Magpie Robin* Copsychus albospecularis
Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe Very rare vagrant, LC [32]
African Stonechat Saxicola torquata
Forest Rock Thrush* Monticola sharpei
Benson's Rock Thrush* Monticola bensoni
Littoral Rock Thrush* Monticola imerinus

Babblers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Timaliidae

The babblers or timaliids are somewhat diverse in size and coloration, but are characterised by soft fluffy plumage. There are 270 species worldwide and 7 species which occur in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Common Jery* Neomixis tenella
Green Jery* Neomixis viridis
Stripe-throated Jery* Neomixis striatigula
Wedge-tailed Jery* Hartertula flavoviridis
White-throated Oxylabes* Oxylabes madagascariensis
Yellow-browed Oxylabes* Crossleyia xanthophrys
Crossley's Babbler* Mystacornis crossleyi

Starlings[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Sturnidae

Starlings are small to medium-sized passerine birds. Their flight is strong and direct, and they are very gregarious. Their preferred habitat is fairly open country. They eat insects and fruit. Plumage is typically dark with a metallic sheen. There are 125 species worldwide, three of which occur in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Wattled Starling Creatophora cinerea Very rare vagrant, LC
Common Myna% Acridotheres tristis Common resident, LC
Madagascan Starling* Saroglossa aurata Fairly common resident, LC

Sunbirds[edit]

The male Souimanga Sunbird has iridescent plumage in the breeding season—which is generally from August to January.[29]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Nectariniidae

The sunbirds and spiderhunters are very small passerine birds which feed largely on nectar, although they will also take insects, especially when feeding young. Flight is fast and direct on their short wings. Most species can take nectar by hovering like a hummingbird, but usually perch to feed. There are 131 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Souimanga Sunbird Cinnyris sovimanga
Madagascar Sunbird Cinnyris notatus

Wagtails[edit]

The endemic Madagascan Wagtail is common throughout the country, typically in open areas or near water.[33]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Motacillidae

The Motacillidae are a family of small passerine birds with medium to long tails. They include the wagtails, longclaws and pipits. They are slender, ground feeding insectivores of open country. There are 54 species worldwide, one of which occurs in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Madagascan Wagtail* Motacilla flaviventris

Sparrows[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Passeridae

Sparrows are small passerine birds. In general, sparrows tend to be small, plump, brown or grey birds with short tails and short powerful beaks. Sparrows are seed-eaters, and they also consume small insects. There are 35 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
House Sparrow% Passer domesticus

White-eyes[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Zosteropidae

The white-eyes are small and are mostly of undistinguished appearance, the plumage above being generally either some dull color like greenish olive, but some species have a white or bright yellow throat, breast or lower parts, and several have buff flanks. As their name suggests many species have a white ring around the eyes. There are 96 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Madagascar White-eye Zosterops maderaspatanus

Weavers and allies[edit]

The endemic Madagascar Red Fody is common and widespread, even in the country's capital, Antananarivo.[34]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Ploceidae

The weavers are small passerine birds related to the finches. They are seed-eating birds with rounded conical bills. The males of many species are brightly coloured, usually in red or yellow and black, some species show variation in colour only in the breeding season. There are 116 species worldwide, four of which occur in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Nelicourvi Weaver* Ploceus nelicourvi
Sakalava Weaver* Ploceus sakalava
Madagascar Red Fody* Foudia madagascariensis
Forest Fody* Foudia omissa

Waxbills and allies[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Estrildidae

The estrildid finches are small passerine birds of the Old World tropics and Australasia. They are gregarious and often colonial seed-eaters with short thick but pointed bills. They are all similar in structure and habits, but have a wide variation in plumage colours and pattern. There are 141 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Madagascar.

Common Name Scientific Name Status
Common Waxbill% Estrilda astrild
Madagascar Munia* Lonchura nana

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Karanth, K. Praveen (March 2006). "Out-of-India Gondwanan origin of some tropical Asian biota". Current Science 90 (6): 789–792. 
  2. ^ Morris & Hawkins (1998), p. 5.
  3. ^ "IUCN Red List". IUCN. Retrieved 2009-04-15. 
  4. ^ Sinclair & Langrand 1998, p. 56
  5. ^ Morris & Hawkins 1998, p. 108
  6. ^ Morris & Hawkins 1998, p. 36
  7. ^ Ogilvie, Malcolm; Chris Rose (2003). Grebes of the World. Uxbridge, UK: Bruce Coleman. ISBN 1-872842-03-8. 
  8. ^ a b c Walker, Matt. "Bird conservation: Alaotra grebe confirmed extinct". BBC News Online. Retrieved 26 May 2010. 
  9. ^ Reilly, Pauline (1994). Penguins of the World. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-553547-2. 
  10. ^ a b Morris & Hawkins (1998), p. 36.
  11. ^ Morris & Hawkins 1998, p. 40
  12. ^ Morris & Hawkins 1998, p. 46
  13. ^ Brinkley, Edward B.; Alec Humann (2001). "Storm-Petrels". In Chris Elphick, John B. Dunning, Jr. & David Sibley. The Sibley Guide to Bird Life & Behaviour. London: Christopher Helm. ISBN 0-7136-6250-6. 
  14. ^ Morris & Hawkins (1990), p. 46.
  15. ^ Morris & Hawkins (1990), p. 304.
  16. ^ a b Morris & Hawkins (1990), p. 305.
  17. ^ Mwema, Martin; Felix Razafindrajao (March 2006). "First Pink-backed Pelican Pelecanus rufescens sightings in Madagascar since 1960". The Bulletin of the African Bird Club 13 (1): 86–87. 
  18. ^ Morris & Hawkins 1998, p. 54
  19. ^ Morris & Hawkins 1998, p. 68
  20. ^ "Madagascar Crested Ibis – BirdLife Species Factsheet". BirdLife International. Retrieved 2009-04-15. 
  21. ^ Sinclair & Langrand 1998, p. 52
  22. ^ "Haliaeetus vociferoides". IUCN. Retrieved 2008-10-19. 
  23. ^ Morris & Hawkins 1998, p. 112
  24. ^ Goodman, Steven M.; Raherilalao, Marie Jean; Block, Nicholas L. "Patterns of morphological and genetic variation in the Mentocrex kioloides complex (Aves: Gruiformes: Rallidae) from Madagascar, with the description of a new species". Zootaxa 2776: 49–60. 
  25. ^ Morris & Hawkins 1998, p. 128
  26. ^ Morris & Hawkins 1998, p. 190
  27. ^ Morris & Hawkins 1998, p. 208
  28. ^ Morris & Hawkins 1998, p. 218
  29. ^ a b Morris & Hawkins 1998, p. 284
  30. ^ Morris & Hawkins 1998, p. 300
  31. ^ Morris & Hawkins 1998, p. 260
  32. ^ Koenig, Paul (September 2009). "Prèmiere mention du Traquet motteux Oenanthe oenanthe pour Madagascar". Bulletin of the African Bird Club (in French) 16 (2): 223. 
  33. ^ Sinclair & Langrand 1998, p. 136
  34. ^ Morris & Hawkins 1998, p. 292

Sources[edit]

  • Morris, Pete; Hawkins, Frank (1998). Birds of Madagascar: A Photographic Guide. Mountfield, UK: Pica Press. ISBN 1-873403-45-3. 
  • Sinclair, Ian; Langrand, Olivier (1998). Birds of the Indian Ocean Islands. Cape Town: Struik. ISBN 1-86872-956-7. 

External links[edit]