List of birds of Madagascar

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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] Of the 285 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;[2] one has been declared extinct.[3]

This list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families and species) follows the conventions of The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, 6th edition.[4]

Species status comments are taken from Morris and Hawkins's Birds of Madagascar: A Photographic Guide unless otherwise noted. Introduced and accidental species are included in the total counts. 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.[5]

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
NR Not recognised as a species by IUCN
NT Near threatened
VU Vulnerable

List of species[edit]

The harlequin quail breeds occasionally in Madagascar.[6]
The little grebe is common on fresh and brackish waters, particularly in western wetlands and the northern highlands.[7]
There are few recent records of black-browed albatross, which was formerly frequent in Madagascar waters.[8]
Though not often seen from land, the Wilson's storm petrel is regularly recorded on migration through Malagasy waters, sometimes in large numbers.[9]
Pink-backed pelicans bred in Madagascar in the late 1950s and early 1960s, but have only been recorded a few times since.[10]
The greater frigatebird is typically found soaring in groups high above the ocean, often in thermals.[11]
The globally threatened Humblot's heron is endemic to Madagascar, though it may also breed on the Comoros.[12]
The endemic, forest-dwelling Madagascan ibis is heavily hunted, despite being legally protected.[13]
The Madagascan fish eagle is critically endangered, with a breeding population of fewer than 100 pairs.[14]
The subdesert mesite is restricted to a coastal strip of dry, spiny forest in southwestern Madagascar.[15]
The crab-plover is a common visitor to the island's west coast.[16]
The giant coua feeds on the ground, primarily on insects.[17]
The African palm-swift is common and widespread, particularly in coastal lowland areas with tall palms.[18]
The tiny Madagascar pygmy-kingfisher is found in forests with dense understory.
The scarce and secretive short-legged ground roller is threatened by habitat destruction and degradation.[19]
The cuckoo-roller is found in forests and woodlands throughout the island.
The white-headed vanga is widespread and found in all types of forest.
The Madagascar paradise-flycatcher is a regional endemic, found in both Madagascar and the Comoros.[20]
The long-billed bernieria, formerly thought to be a greenbul, is now considered a Malagasy warbler.
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.[21]
The male souimanga sunbird has iridescent plumage in the breeding season—which is generally from August to January.[20]
The endemic Madagascar red fody is common and widespread, even in the country's capital, Antananarivo.[22]
Taxonomic order Common name Scientific name Status IUCN code
1 White-faced whistling duck Dendrocygna viduata Common resident LC
2 Fulvous whistling duck Dendrocygna bicolor Uncommon resident LC
3 White-backed duck Thalassornis leuconotus Rare resident LC
4 Comb duck Sarkidiornis melanotos Locally common resident LC
5 African pygmy goose Nettapus auritus Common resident LC
6 Meller's duck* Anas melleri Uncommon resident EN
7 Red-billed duck Anas erythrorhyncha Common resident LC
8 Hottentot teal Anas hottentota Locally common resident LC
9 Bernier's teal* Anas bernieri Rare resident EN
10 Madagascan pochard* Aythya innotata Recently rediscovered CR
11 Helmeted guineafowl% Numida meleagris Common resident LC
12 Madagascan partridge* Margaroperdix madagarensis Uncommon resident LC
13 Common quail Coturnix coturnix Uncommon resident LC
14 Harlequin quail Coturnix delegorguei Uncommon visitor LC
15 Alaotra grebe* Tachybaptus rufolavatus Extinct[3] EX
16 Little grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis Locally common resident LC
17 Madagascan grebe* Tachybaptus pelzelnii Uncommon resident VU
18 Greater flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus Regular, rare breeder LC
19 Lesser flamingo Phoenicopterus minor Erratic migrant NT
20 Southern rockhopper penguin Eudyptes chrysocome Very rare vagrant VU
Northern rockhopper penguin Eudyptes moseleyi Very rare vagrant EN
21 Indian yellow-nosed albatross Thalassarche carteri Rare vagrant EN
22 Salvin's albatross Thalassarche salvini Rare vagrant VU
Shy albatross Thalassarche cauta Rare vagrant VU
23 Black-browed albatross Thalassarche melanophrys Rare vagrant EN
24 Southern giant petrel Macronectes giganteus Regular offshore NT
25 Cape petrel Daption capense Offshore migrant LC
26 Great-winged petrel Pterodroma macroptera Uncommon LC
27 Soft-plumaged petrel Pterodroma mollis Very rare vagrant LC
28 Barau's petrel Pterodroma baraui Very rare vagrant EN
29 Antarctic prion Pachyptila desolata Offshore migrant LC
30 Slender-billed prion Pachyptila belcheri Rare vagrant LC
31 Jouanin's petrel Bulweria fallax Very rare vagrant LC
32 Cory's shearwater Calonectris diomedea Very rare vagrant LC
33 Flesh-footed shearwater Ardenna carneipes Very rare vagrant LC
34 Wedge-tailed shearwater Ardenna pacificus Uncommon offshore LC
Tropical shearwater Puffinus bailloni Uncommon offshore LC
35 Wilson's storm petrel Oceanites oceanicus Regular migrant LC
36 White-faced storm petrel Pelagodroma marina Very rare vagrant LC
37 White-bellied storm petrel Fregetta grallaria Very rare vagrant LC
38 Black-bellied storm petrel Fregetta tropica Regular LC
39 White-tailed tropicbird Phaethon lepturus Visiting breeder LC
40 Red-billed tropicbird Phaethon aethereus Very rare vagrant LC
41 Red-tailed tropicbird Phaethon rubricauda Visiting breeder LC
42 African openbill Anastomus lamelligerus Resident LC
43 Yellow-billed stork Mycteria ibis Locally common LC
44 Greater frigatebird Fregata minor Casual visitor LC
45 Lesser frigatebird Fregata ariel Casual visitor LC
46 Masked booby Sula dactylatra Very rare vagrant LC
47 Brown booby Sula leucogaster Visiting breeder LC
48 Red-footed booby Sula sula Uncommon visitor LC
49 Long-tailed cormorant Microcarbo africanus Resident LC
50 African darter Anhinga rufa Resident LC
51 Pink-backed pelican Pelecanus rufescens Rare vagrant LC
52 Hamerkop Scopus umbretta Resident LC
53 Little bittern Ixobrychus minutus Scarce breeder LC
54 Gray heron Ardea cinerea Fairly common resident LC
55 Black-headed heron Ardea melanocephala Very rare vagrant LC
56 Humblot's heron Ardea humbloti Uncommon resident EN
57 Goliath heron Ardea goliath Very rare vagrant LC
58 Purple heron Ardea purpurea Fairly common resident LC
59 Great egret Ardea alba Common resident LC
60 Dimorphic egret Egretta dimorpha Fairly common resident LC
61 Black heron Egretta ardesiaca Fairly common resident LC
62 Cattle egret Bubulcus ibis Common resident LC
63 Squacco heron Ardeola ralloides Common resident LC
64 Madagascar pond heron Ardeola idae Visiting breeder LC
65 Striated heron Butorides striata Fairly common resident LC
66 Black-crowned night heron Nycticorax nycticorax Uncommon resident LC
67 Glossy ibis Plegadis falcinellus Common resident LC
68 Madagascan ibis* Lophotibis cristata Rare resident NT
69 Madagascar white ibis Threskiornis bernieri Rare resident EN
70 African spoonbill Platalea alba Uncommon resident LC
71 Osprey Pandion haliaetus Rare vagrant LC
72 Black-shouldered kite Elanus caeruleus LC
73 Madagascan harrier-hawk* Polyboroides radiatus LC
74 Madagascan serpent eagle* Eutriorchis astur EN
75 Madagascar cuckoo-hawk* Aviceda madagascariensis LC
76 Bat hawk Macheiramphus alcinus LC
77 Madagascar marsh harrier* Circus macrosceles VU
78 Frances's goshawk* Accipiter francesii LC
79 Madagascan sparrowhawk* Accipiter madagascariensis NT
80 Henst's goshawk* Accipiter henstii NT
81 Yellow-billed kite Milvus aegyptius NR
82 Madagascan fish eagle* Haliaeetus vociferoides CR
83 Madagascan buzzard* Buteo brachypterus LC
84 White-breasted mesite* Mesitornis variegata Locally common resident VU
85 Brown mesite* Mesitornis unicolor Uncommon resident VU
86 Subdesert mesite* Monias benschi Uncommon resident VU
87 Madagascar wood-rail* Canirallus kioloides LC
88 Tsingy wood rail* Mentocrex beankaensis Range-restricted resident[23] NT
89 Madagascan rail* Rallus madagascariensis VU
90 White-throated rail Dryolimnas cuvieri LC
91 Sakalava rail* Amaurornis olivieri EN
92 Baillon's crake Porzana pusilla LC
93 African swamphen Porphyrio madagascariensis LC
94 Allen's gallinule Porphyrio alleni LC
95 Common moorhen Gallinula chloropus LC
96 Red-knobbed coot Fulica cristata LC
97 Madagascan flufftail* Sarothrura insularis LC
98 Slender-billed flufftail* Sarothrura watersi EN
99 Black-winged stilt Himantopus himantopus Fairly common resident LC
100 Pied avocet Recurvirostra avosetta Very rare vagrant LC
101 Grey plover Pluvialis squatarola LC
102 Pacific golden plover Pluvialis fulva LC
103 Lesser sandplover Charadrius mongolus LC
104 Greater sandplover Charadrius leschenaultii LC
105 Kittlitz's plover Charadrius pecuarius LC
106 Common ringed plover Charadrius hiaticula LC
107 Madagascan plover* Charadrius thoracicus VU
108 Three-banded plover Charadrius tricollaris LC
109 White-fronted plover Charadrius marginatus LC
110 Greater painted-snipe Rostratula benghalensis LC
111 Madagascan jacana* Actophilornis albinucha NT
112 Terek sandpiper Xenus cinereus LC
113 Common sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos LC
114 Green sandpiper Tringa ochropus LC
115 Common greenshank Tringa nebularia LC
116 Marsh sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis LC
117 Wood sandpiper Tringa glareola LC
118 Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus LC
119 Eurasian curlew Numenius arquata NT
120 Black-tailed godwit Limosa limosa NT
121 Bar-tailed godwit Limosa lapponica LC
122 Ruddy turnstone Arenaria interpres LC
123 Ruff Philomachus pugnax LC
124 Curlew sandpiper Calidris ferruginea LC
125 Sharp-tailed sandpiper Calidris acuminata Single vagrant record[24] LC
126 Sanderling Calidris alba LC
127 Little stint Calidris minuta LC
128 Buff-breasted sandpiper Calidris subruficollis Single vagrant record[25] LC
129 Madagascan snipe* Gallinago macrodactyla VU
130 Red-necked phalarope Phalaropus lobatus Single vagrant record[25] LC
131 Madagascan buttonquail* Turnix nigricollis Common resident LC
132 Crab-plover Dromas ardeola Common visitor LC
133 Madagascan pratincole Glareola ocularis VU
134 Brown skua Stercorarius antarctica LC
135 Pomarine skua Sterocorarius pomarinus LC
136 Arctic skua Stercorarius parasiticus LC
137 Long-tailed skua Stercorarius longicaudus LC
138 Gray-headed gull Chroicocephalus cirrocephalus LC
139 Kelp gull Larus dominicanus LC
140 Brown noddy Anous stolidus LC
141 Lesser noddy Anous tenuirostris LC
142 White tern Gygis alba LC
143 Sooty tern Onychoprion fuscatus LC
144 Bridled tern Onychoprion anaethetus LC
145 Saunders's tern Sternula saundersi LC
146 Damara tern Sternula balaenarum NT
147 Gull-billed tern Gelochelidon nilotica LC
148 Caspian tern Hydroprogne caspia LC
149 Black tern Chlidonias niger LC
150 White-winged tern Chlidonias leucopterus LC
151 Whiskered tern Chlidonias hybrida LC
152 Roseate tern Sterna dougallii LC
153 Black-naped tern Sterna sumatrana LC
154 Common tern Sterna hirundo LC
155 Greater crested tern Thalasseus bergii LC
156 Sandwich tern Thalasseus sandvicensis LC
157 Lesser crested tern Thalasseus bengalensis LC
158 Madagascan sandgrouse* Pterocles personatus LC
159 Rock pigeon% Columba livia LC
160 Malagasy turtle dove Nesoenas picturatus LC
161 Namaqua dove Oena capensis LC
162 Madagascan green pigeon Treron australis LC
163 Madagascan blue pigeon* Alectroenas madagascariensis LC
164 Thick-billed cuckoo Pachycoccyx audeberti LC
165 Madagascar lesser cuckoo Cuculus rochii LC
166 Giant coua* Coua gigas LC
167 Coquerel's coua* Coua coquereli LC
168 Red-breasted coua* Coua serriana LC
169 Red-fronted coua* Coua reynaudii LC
170 Red-capped coua* Coua ruficeps LC
171 Running coua* Coua cursor LC
172 Crested coua* Coua cristata LC
173 Verreaux's coua* Coua verreauxi NT
174 Blue coua* Coua caerulea LC
175 Madagascar coucal Centropus toulou LC
176 Barn owl Tyto alba LC
177 Red owl* Tyto soumagnei VU
178 Malagasy scops-owl* Otus rutilus LC
179 Torotoroka scops-owl* Otus madagascariensis
180 Madagascan owl* Asio madagascariensis LC
181 Marsh owl Asio capensis LC
182 White-browed owl Ninox superciliaris LC
183 Collared nightjar* Gactornis enarratus LC
184 Madagascan nightjar Caprimulgus madagascariensis LC
185 Malagasy spinetail Zoonavena grandidieri Widespread resident LC
186 Alpine swift Tachymarptis melba Widespread resident LC
187 Madagascar swift Apus balstoni Widespread resident LC
188 Little swift Apus affinis Recent colonist LC
189 African palm swift Cypsiurus parvus Widespread resident LC
190 Malagasy kingfisher Corythornis vintsioides Common resident LC
191 Madagascan pygmy kingfisher* Corythornis madagascariensis Common resident LC
192 Madagascar bee-eater Merops superciliosus LC
193 European bee-eater Merops apiaster Single vagrant record LC
194 Broad-billed roller Eurystomus glaucurus LC
195 Short-legged ground roller* Brachypteracias leptosomus Resident VU
196 Scaly ground roller* Brachypteracias squamigera Resident VU
197 Pitta-like ground roller* Atelornis pittoides Resident LC
198 Rufous-headed ground roller* Atelornis crossleyi Resident NT
199 Long-tailed ground roller* Uratelornis chimaera Resident VU
200 Cuckoo-roller Leptosomus discolor LC
201 Madagascan hoopoe Upupa marginata LC
202 Madagascar kestrel Falco newtoni Resident LC
203 Banded kestrel* Falco zoniventris Uncommon resident LC
204 Eleonora's falcon Falco eleonorae Winter visitor LC
205 Sooty falcon Falco concolor Winter visitor NT
206 Peregrine falcon Falco peregrinus Scarce resident LC
207 Greater vasa parrot* Coracopsis vasa LC
208 Lesser vasa parrot Coracopsis nigra LC
209 Grey-headed lovebird* Agapornis canus LC
210 Velvet asity* Philepitta castanea LC
211 Schlegel's asity* Philepitta schlegeli NT
212 Common sunbird-asity* Neodrepanis coruscans LC
213 Yellow-bellied sunbird-asity* Neodrepanis hypoxanthus VU
214 Archbold's newtonia* Newtonia archboldi LC
215 Common newtonia* Newtonia brunneicauda LC
216 Dark newtonia* Newtonia amphichroa LC
217 Red-tailed newtonia* Newtonia fanovanae VU
218 Tylas vanga* Tylas eduardi LC
219 Red-tailed vanga* Calicalicus madagascariensis Fairly common resident LC
220 Red-shouldered vanga* Calicalicus rufocarpalis Uncommon resident VU
221 Nuthatch vanga* Hypositta corallirostris LC
222 Chabert vanga* Leptopterus chabert LC
223 Crossley's vanga* Mystacornis crossleyi LC
224 Blue vanga* Cyanolanius madagascarinus LC
225 Ward's flycatcher* Pseudobias wardi Range-restricted resident LC
226 Hook-billed vanga* Vanga curvirostris LC
227 Rufous vanga* Schetba rufa LC
228 Helmet vanga* Euryceros prevostii VU
229 Bernier's vanga* Oriolia bernieri VU
230 Sickle-billed vanga* Falculea palliata LC
231 White-headed vanga* Artamella viridis LC
232 Pollen's vanga* Xenopirostris polleni NT
233 Lafresnaye's vanga* Xenopirostris xenopirostris LC
234 Van Dam's vanga* Xenopirostris damii EN
235 Ashy cuckooshrike Coracina cinerea LC
236 Eurasian golden oriole Oriolus oriolus LC
237 Crested drongo Dicrurus forficatus Common resident LC
238 Madagascar paradise flycatcher Terpsiphone mutata Common resident LC
239 House crow Corvus splendens Single vagrant record[26] LC
240 Pied crow Corvus albus Common resident LC
241 Madagascan lark* Eremopterix hova LC
242 Brown-throated martin Riparia paludicola LC
243 Sand martin Riparia riparia LC
244 Mascarene martin Phedina borbonica LC
245 Barn swallow Hirundo rustica LC
246 Madagascar bulbul Hypsipetes madagascariensis LC
247 Madagascar brush warbler* Nesillas typica (E) LC
248 Madagascan swamp warbler* Acrocephalus newtoni LC
249 Brown emutail* Bradypterus brunneus LC
250 Grey emutail* Amphilais seebohmi LC
251 White-throated oxylabes* Oxylabes madagascariensis LC
252 Long-billed bernieria* Bernieria madagascariensis LC
253 Cryptic warbler* Cryptosylvicola randriansoloi LC
254 Wedge-tailed jery* Hartertula flavoviridis NT
255 Thamnornis* Thamnornis chloropetoides LC
256 Yellow-browed oxylabes* Crossleyia xanthophrys NT
257 Spectacled tetraka* Xanthomixis zosterops LC
258 Appert's tetraka* Xanthomixis apperti VU
259 Dusky tetraka* Xanthomixis tenebrosus VU
260 Grey-crowned tetraka* Xanthomixis cinereiceps NT
261 Rand's warbler* Randia pseudozosterops LC
262 Common jery* Neomixis tenella LC
263 Green jery* Neomixis viridis LC
264 Stripe-throated jery* Neomixis striatigula LC
265 Madagascan cisticola Cisticola cherinus LC
266 Madagascar white-eye Zosterops maderaspatanus LC
267 Madagascar magpie-robin* Copsychus albospecularis LC
268 Forest rock thrush* Monticola sharpei LC
269 Littoral rock thrush* Monticola imerinus LC
270 Madagascan stonechat* Saxicola sibilla LC
271 Northern wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe Very rare vagrant[27] LC
272 Madagascan starling* Hartlaubius auratus Fairly common resident LC
273 Common myna% Acridotheres tristis Common resident LC
274 Wattled starling Creatophora cinerea Very rare vagrant LC
275 Souimanga sunbird Cinnyris sovimanga LC
276 Malagasy green sunbird Cinnyris notatus LC
277 Madagascan wagtail* Motacilla flaviventris LC
278 House sparrow% Passer domesticus LC
279 Nelicourvi weaver* Ploceus nelicourvi LC
280 Sakalava weaver* Ploceus sakalava LC
281 Madagascar red fody* Foudia madagascariensis LC
282 Forest fody* Foudia omissa LC
283 Common waxbill% Estrilda astrild LC
284 Madagascar munia* Lonchura nana LC

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Karanth, K. Praveen (March 2006). "Out-of-India Gondwanan origin of some tropical Asian biota" (PDF). Current Science. 90 (6): 789–792. 
  2. ^ Morris & Hawkins (1998), p. 5.
  3. ^ a b Walker, Matt. "Bird conservation: Alaotra grebe confirmed extinct". BBC News Online. Retrieved 26 May 2010. 
  4. ^ Clements, J. F.; Schulenberg, T. S.; Iliff, M. J.; Roberson, D.; Fredericks, T. A.; Sullivan, B. L.; Wood, C. L. (2014). "The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.9.". Retrieved 25 September 2014. 
  5. ^ "IUCN Red List". IUCN. Retrieved 15 April 2009. 
  6. ^ Morris & Hawkins 1998, p. 108
  7. ^ Morris & Hawkins 1998, p. 36
  8. ^ Morris & Hawkins 1998, p. 40
  9. ^ Morris & Hawkins 1998, p. 46
  10. ^ Mwema, Martin; Razafindrajao, Felix (March 2006). "First Pink-backed Pelican Pelecanus rufescens sightings in Madagascar since 1960". The Bulletin of the African Bird Club. 13 (1): 86–87. 
  11. ^ Morris & Hawkins 1998, p. 54
  12. ^ Morris & Hawkins 1998, p. 68
  13. ^ "Madagascar Crested Ibis – BirdLife Species Factsheet". BirdLife International. Retrieved 2009-04-15. 
  14. ^ "Haliaeetus vociferoides". IUCN. Retrieved 2008-10-19. 
  15. ^ Morris & Hawkins 1998, p. 112
  16. ^ Morris & Hawkins 1998, p. 128
  17. ^ Morris & Hawkins 1998, p. 190
  18. ^ Morris & Hawkins 1998, p. 208
  19. ^ Morris & Hawkins 1998, p. 218
  20. ^ a b Morris & Hawkins 1998, p. 284
  21. ^ Morris & Hawkins 1998, p. 260
  22. ^ Morris & Hawkins 1998, p. 292
  23. ^ 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" (PDF). Zootaxa. 2776: 49–60. 
  24. ^ Patient, R. (March 2003). "The first Sharp-tailed Sandpiper Calidris acuminata for Madagascar". African Bird Club Bulletin. 10 (1): 50. Retrieved 8 July 2015. 
  25. ^ a b Rush, Cuan; Hoddinott, David (September 2014). "First records of Buff-breasted Sandpiper and Red-necked Phalarope for Madagascar". African Bird Club Bulletin. 21 (2): 224–226. Retrieved 8 July 2015. 
  26. ^ Linders, Theo E. W.; Langrand, Olivier (September 2014). "First record of House Crow for Madagascar – potential impacts and suggested management of an invasive bird species". African Bird Club Bulletin. 21 (2): 216–219. Retrieved 8 July 2015. 
  27. ^ Koenig, Paul (September 2009). "Prèmiere mention du Traquet motteux Oenanthe oenanthe pour Madagascar". Bulletin of the African Bird Club (in French). 16 (2): 223. 


  • 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, South Africa: Struik. ISBN 1-86872-956-7. 

External links[edit]