Madagascan ibis

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Madagascan ibis
Lophotibis cristata -Bronx Zoo-8.jpg
At Bronx Zoo, New York, United States
Scientific classification

L. cristata
Binomial name
Lophotibis cristata
(Boddaert, 1783)

The Madagascan ibis (Lophotibis cristata), also known as the Madagascar crested ibis, white-winged ibis or crested wood ibis, is a medium-sized (approximately 50 cm long), brown-plumaged ibis. It has bare red orbital skin, yellow bill, red legs, white wings and its head is partially bare with a dense crest of green or gloss blue and white plumes on the nape. The Madagascan ibis is the only member of the genus Lophotibis.


The Madagascan ibis, with a length of 50 cm (20 in), is among the largest birds in the Madagascan forest. The head is black and the upper parts are rufous brown. The chin, neck and throat and underparts are dark brown and the wing largely white. Part of the face is naked and red, including round the eye, and the crown and back of the neck bear a crest of long feathers which are black with a metallic sheen. In the subspecies L. c. cristata, the sheen is green and there are flecks of white; in the subspecies L. c. urschi, the throat, neck and crest have a greenish sheen mixed with yellowish-orange, and the body colour is darker chestnut. The iris is brown, the very long beak is horn-coloured and the legs and feet are red.[2]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The Madagascan ibis is endemic to the woodlands and forests of Madagascar at altitudes of up to 2,000 m (6,600 ft). It is found in both primary and secondary forest, including humid forest in the northeast of the island and dry forests in the west and south.[1]


Its diet consists mainly of insects, spiders, frogs, reptiles, snails and invertebrates. The female usually lays three eggs in a platform nest made from twigs and branches.[1]


The total population of this ibis is thought to be declining due to ongoing habitat loss, and overhunting in some areas, it being a favourite quarry. The bird is evaluated as being a near-threatened species on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d BirdLife International (2012). "Lophotibis cristata". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ James Hancock; James A. Kushlan; M. Philip Kahl (2010). Storks, Ibises and Spoonbills of the World. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 207. ISBN 978-1-4081-3500-6.

External links[edit]