List of birds of Madagascar


List of birds of Madagascar

This is a list of the bird species recorded in Madagascar. The avifauna of Madagascar includes a total of 293 species, of which 105 are endemic, 6 have been introduced by humans, and 26 are rare or accidental. 30 species are globally threatened.

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 5th 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.

The following tags have been used to highlight certain relevant categories. It must be noted that not all species fall into one of these categories. Those that do not are commonly occurring, native species.

* (A) Accidental A species that rarely or accidentally occurs in Madagascar.
* (E) Endemic A species endemic to Madagascar.
* (I) Introduced A species introduced to Madagascar as a consequence, direct or indirect, of human actions.

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Penguins

Order: SphenisciformesFamily: Spheniscidae

The penguins are a group of aquatic, flightless birds living almost exclusively in the Southern Hemisphere. Most penguins feed on krill, fish, squid, and other forms of sealife caught while swimming underwater. There are 17 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Madagascar.

*Rockhopper Penguin "Eudyptes chrysocome" (A)

Grebes

Order: PodicipediformesFamily: Podicipedidae

Grebes are small to medium-large sized freshwater diving birds. They have lobed toes, and are excellent swimmers and divers. However, they have their feet placed far back on the body, making them quite ungainly on land. There are 20 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Madagascar.

*Little Grebe "Tachybaptus ruficollis"
*Madagascar Grebe "Tachybaptus pelzelnii" (E)

Albatrosses

Order: ProcellariiformesFamily: 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 5 species which occur in Madagascar.

*Wandering Albatross "Diomedea exulans"
*Black-browed Albatross "Thalassarche melanophris" (A)
*Shy Albatross "Thalassarche cauta"
*Yellow-nosed Albatross "Thalassarche chlororhynchos"
*Sooty Albatross "Phoebetria fusca"

hearwaters and petrels

Order: ProcellariiformesFamily: 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 9 species which occur in Madagascar.

*Antarctic Giant Petrel "Macronectes giganteus" (A)
*Cape Petrel "Daption capense" (A)
*Great-winged Petrel "Pterodroma macroptera"
*Soft-plumaged Petrel "Pterodroma mollis"
*Barau's Petrel "Pterodroma baraui"
*Broad-billed Prion "Pachyptila vittata" (A)
*Salvin's Prion "Pachyptila salvini" (A)
*Wedge-tailed Shearwater "Puffinus pacificus"
*Audubon's Shearwater "Puffinus lherminieri" (A)

torm-petrels

Order: ProcellariiformesFamily: Hydrobatidae

The storm-petrels are relatives of the petrels, and are the smallest of sea-birds. They feed on planktonic crustaceans and small fish picked from the surface, typically while hovering. The flight is fluttering and sometimes bat-like. There are 21 species worldwide and 3 species which occur in Madagascar.

*Wilson's Storm-Petrel "Oceanites oceanicus"
*Black-bellied Storm-Petrel "Fregetta tropica"
*White-bellied Storm-Petrel "Fregetta grallaria"

Tropicbirds

Order: PelecaniformesFamily: Phaethontidae

Tropicbirds are slender white birds of tropical oceans, with exceptionally long central tail feathers. Their heads and long wings have black markings. There are 3 species worldwide and 3 species which occur in Madagascar.

*Red-billed Tropicbird "Phaethon aethereus" (A)
*Red-tailed Tropicbird "Phaethon rubricauda"
*White-tailed Tropicbird "Phaethon lepturus"

Pelicans

Order: PelecaniformesFamily: Pelecanidae

Pelicans are large water birds with a distinctive pouch under the beak. As with other members of the order Pelecaniformes, they have webbed feet with four toes. There are 8 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Madagascar.

*Pink-backed Pelican "Pelecanus rufescens"

Boobies and gannets

Order: PelecaniformesFamily: Sulidae

The sulids comprise the gannets and boobies. Both groups comprise medium-to-large coastal sea-birds that plunge-dive for fish. There are 9 species worldwide and 3 species which occur in Madagascar.

*Masked Booby "Sula dactylatra"
*Red-footed Booby "Sula sula"
*Brown Booby "Sula leucogaster"

Cormorants

Order: PelecaniformesFamily: Phalacrocoracidae

The Phalacrocoracidae is a family of medium-to-large coastal, fish-eating sea-birds 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.

*Long-tailed Cormorant "Phalacrocorax africanus"

Darters

Order: PelecaniformesFamily: 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.

*Darter "Anhinga melanogaster"

Frigatebirds

Order: PelecaniformesFamily: Fregatidae

Frigatebirds are large sea-birds 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 and 2 species which occur in Madagascar.

*Great Frigatebird "Fregata minor"
*Lesser Frigatebird "Fregata ariel"

Bitterns, herons and egrets

Order: CiconiiformesFamily: 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 and 15 species which occur in Madagascar.

*Gray Heron "Ardea cinerea"
*Black-headed Heron "Ardea melanocephala" (A)
*Humblot's Heron "Ardea humbloti" (E)
*Goliath Heron "Ardea goliath" (A)
*Purple Heron "Ardea purpurea"
*Great Egret "Ardea alba"
*Black Heron "Egretta ardesiaca"
*Western Reef-Heron "Egretta gularis"
*Little Egret "Egretta garzetta"
*Squacco Heron "Ardeola ralloides"
*Madagascar Pond-Heron "Ardeola idae"
*Cattle Egret "Bubulcus ibis"
*Striated Heron "Butorides striata"
*Black-crowned Night-Heron "Nycticorax nycticorax"
*Little Bittern "Ixobrychus minutus"

Hamerkop

Order: CiconiiformesFamily: Scopidae

The Hammerkop 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.

*Hamerkop "Scopus umbretta"

torks

Order: CiconiiformesFamily: 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.

*Yellow-billed Stork "Mycteria ibis"
*African Openbill "Anastomus lamelligerus"

Ibises and spoonbills

Order: CiconiiformesFamily: 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.

*Sacred Ibis "Threskiornis aethiopicus"
*Glossy Ibis "Plegadis falcinellus"
*Madagascar Ibis "Lophotibis cristata" (E)
*African Spoonbill "Platalea alba"

Flamingos

Order: PhoenicopteriformesFamily: 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.

*Greater Flamingo "Phoenicopterus roseus"
*Lesser Flamingo "Phoenicopterus minor"

Ducks, geese and swans

Order: AnseriformesFamily: 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.

*Fulvous Whistling-Duck "Dendrocygna bicolor"
*White-faced Whistling-Duck "Dendrocygna viduata"
*White-backed Duck "Thalassornis leuconotus"
*Comb Duck "Sarkidiornis melanotos"
*African Pygmy-goose "Nettapus auritus"
*Bernier's Teal "Anas bernieri" (E)
*Meller's Duck "Anas melleri" (E)
*Red-billed Duck "Anas erythrorhyncha"
*Hottentot Teal "Anas hottentota"
*Madagascar Pochard "Aythya innotata" (E)

Hawks, kites and eagles

Order: FalconiformesFamily: 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.

*Madagascar Baza "Aviceda madagascariensis" (E)
*Bat Hawk "Macheiramphus alcinus"
*Black-shouldered Kite "Elanus caeruleus"
*Black Kite "Milvus migrans"
*Madagascar Fish-eagle "Haliaeetus vociferoides" (E)
*Madagascar Serpent-eagle "Eutriorchis astur" (E)
*Western Marsh Harrier "Circus aeruginosus"
*Madagascar Marsh Harrier "Circus macrosceles"
*Madagascar Harrier-hawk "Polyboroides radiatus" (E)
*Frances's Goshawk "Accipiter francesii"
*Madagascar Sparrowhawk "Accipiter madagascariensis" (E)
*Henst's Goshawk "Accipiter henstii" (E)
*Madagascar Buzzard "Buteo brachypterus" (E)

Falcons

Order: FalconiformesFamily: 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.

*Madagascar Kestrel "Falco newtoni"
*Banded Kestrel "Falco zoniventris" (E)
*Eleonora's Falcon "Falco eleonorae"
*Sooty Falcon "Falco concolor"
*Peregrine Falcon "Falco peregrinus"

Pheasants and Partridges

Order: GalliformesFamily: 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.

*Madagascar Partridge "Margaroperdix madagascarensis" (E)
*Common Quail "Coturnix coturnix"
*Harlequin Quail "Coturnix delegorguei"

Guineafowl

Order: GalliformesFamily: 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.

*Helmeted Guineafowl "Numida meleagris" (I)

Mesites

Order: GruiformesFamily: Mesitornithidae

*White-breasted Mesite "Mesitornis variegata" (E)
*Brown Mesite "Mesitornis unicolor" (E)
*Subdesert Mesite "Monias benschi" (E)

Buttonquails

Order: GruiformesFamily: 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.

*Madagascar Buttonquail "Turnix nigricollis" (E)

Rails, Crakes, Gallinules, and Coots

Order: GruiformesFamily: 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 143 species worldwide and 15 species which occur in Madagascar.

*Madagascar Flufftail "Sarothrura insularis" (E)
*Slender-billed Flufftail "Sarothrura watersi" (E)
*Madagascar Wood-rail "Canirallus kioloides" (E)
*Water Rail "Rallus aquaticus"
*Madagascar Rail "Rallus madagascariensis" (E)
*White-throated Rail "Dryolimnas cuvieri"
*Corn Crake "Crex crex"
*Sakalava Rail "Amaurornis olivieri" (E)
*Little Crake "Porzana parva"
*Baillon's Crake "Porzana pusilla"
*Spotted Crake "Porzana porzana"
*Purple Swamphen "Porphyrio porphyrio"
*Allen's Gallinule "Porphyrio alleni"
*Common Moorhen "Gallinula chloropus"
*Red-knobbed Coot "Fulica cristata"

Jacanas

Order: CharadriiformesFamily: 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 2 species which occur in Madagascar.

*African Jacana "Actophilornis africanus"
*Madagascar Jacana "Actophilornis albinucha" (E)

Painted snipe

Order: CharadriiformesFamily: 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.

*Greater Painted-snipe "Rostratula benghalensis"

Crab Plover

Order: CharadriiformesFamily: 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.

*Crab Plover "Dromas ardeola"

Avocets and Stilts

Order: CharadriiformesFamily: 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.

*Black-winged Stilt "Himantopus himantopus"
*Pied Avocet "Recurvirostra avosetta" (A)

Pratincoles and Coursers

Order: CharadriiformesFamily: 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.

*Madagascar Pratincole "Glareola ocularis"

Plovers and Lapwings

Order: CharadriiformesFamily: 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 11 species which occur in Madagascar.

*Pacific Golden Plover "Pluvialis fulva" (A)
*American Golden Plover "Pluvialis dominica"
*Black-bellied Plover "Pluvialis squatarola"
*Common Ringed Plover "Charadrius hiaticula"
*Little Ringed Plover "Charadrius dubius"
*Madagascar Plover "Charadrius thoracicus" (E)
*Kittlitz's Plover "Charadrius pecuarius"
*Three-banded Plover "Charadrius tricollaris"
*White-fronted Plover "Charadrius marginatus"
*Lesser Sandplover "Charadrius mongolus"
*Greater Sandplover "Charadrius leschenaultii"

andpipers and allies

Order: CharadriiformesFamily: 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.

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

kuas and Jaegers

Order: CharadriiformesFamily: 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 4 species which occur in Madagascar.

*South Polar Skua "Stercorarius maccormicki"
*Brown Skua "Stercorarius antarctica"
*Great Skua "Stercorarius skua"
*Parasitic Jaeger "Stercorarius parasiticus" (A)

Gulls

Order: CharadriiformesFamily: 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 3 species which occur in Madagascar.

*Sooty Gull "Larus hemprichii"
*Kelp Gull "Larus dominicanus"
*Gray-headed Gull "Larus cirrocephalus"

Terns

Order: CharadriiformesFamily: Sternidae

Terns are a group of generally general medium to large sea-birds 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 19 species which occur in Madagascar.

*Gull-billed Tern "Sterna nilotica" (A)
*Caspian Tern "Sterna caspia"
*Lesser Crested Tern "Sterna bengalensis"
*Sandwich Tern "Sterna sandvicensis"
*Great Crested Tern "Sterna bergii"
*Roseate Tern "Sterna dougallii"
*Black-naped Tern "Sterna sumatrana"
*Common Tern "Sterna hirundo" (A)
*Little Tern "Sterna albifrons"
*Saunders's Tern "Sterna saundersi" (A)
*Damara Tern "Sterna balaenarum"
*Bridled Tern "Sterna anaethetus"
*Sooty Tern "Sterna fuscata"
*Whiskered Tern "Chlidonias hybridus"
*White-winged Tern "Chlidonias leucopterus" (A)
*Black Tern "Chlidonias niger" (A)
*Lesser Noddy "Anous tenuirostris"
*Brown Noddy "Anous stolidus"
*White Tern "Gygis alba" (A)

andgrouse

Order: PterocliformesFamily: 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 and 1 species which occurs in Madagascar.

*Madagascar Sandgrouse "Pterocles personatus" (E)

Pigeons and Doves

Order: ColumbiformesFamily: 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 6 species which occur in Madagascar.

*Rock Pigeon "Columba livia" (I)
*Madagascar Turtle-dove "Streptopelia picturata"
*Namaqua Dove "Oena capensis"
*Zebra Dove "Geopelia striata" (I)
*Madagascar Green-pigeon "Treron australis"
*Madagascar Blue-pigeon "Alectroenas madagascariensis" (E)

Parrots, Macaws and allies

Order: PsittaciformesFamily: 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 the 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 3 species which occur in Madagascar.

*Gray-headed Lovebird "Agapornis canus" (E)
*Vasa Parrot "Coracopsis vasa"
*Black Parrot "Coracopsis nigra"

Cuckoos

Order: CuculiformesFamily: 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 13 species which occur in Madagascar.

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

Barn owls

Order: StrigiformesFamily: 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 2 species which occur in Madagascar.

*Madagascar Red Owl "Tyto soumagnei" (E)
*Barn Owl "Tyto alba"

Typical owls

Order: StrigiformesFamily: 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 6 species which occur in Madagascar.

*African Scops-Owl "Otus senegalensis"
*Malagasy Scops-Owl "Otus rutilus" (E)
*Torotoroka Scops-Owl "Otus madagascariensis" (E)
*White-browed Owl "Ninox superciliaris" (E)
*Madagascar Long-eared Owl "Asio madagascariensis" (E)
*Marsh Owl "Asio capensis"

Nightjars

Order: CaprimulgiformesFamily: 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 3 species which occur in Madagascar.

*Red-necked Nightjar "Caprimulgus ruficollis"
*Madagascar Nightjar "Caprimulgus madagascariensis"
*Collared Nightjar "Caprimulgus enarratus" (E)

wifts

Order: ApodiformesFamily: 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 6 species which occur in Madagascar.

*Mascarene Swiftlet "Aerodramus francicus" (A)
*Malagasy Spinetail "Zoonavena grandidieri"
*African Palm-Swift "Cypsiurus parvus"
*Alpine Swift "Tachymarptis melba"
*African Swift "Apus barbatus"
*Madagascar Swift "Apus balstoni"

Kingfishers

Order: CoraciiformesFamily: Alcedinidae

Kingfishers are medium-sized birds with large heads, long pointed bills, short legs, and stubby tails. There are 93 species worldwide and 3 species which occur in Madagascar.

*Malachite Kingfisher "Alcedo cristata"
*Malagasy Kingfisher "Alcedo vintsioides"
*Madagascar Pygmy-Kingfisher "Ispidina madagascariensis" (E)

Bee-eaters

Order: CoraciiformesFamily: 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 1 species which occurs in Madagascar.

*Madagascar Bee-eater "Merops superciliosus"

Typical Rollers

Order: CoraciiformesFamily: 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 and 1 species which occurs in Madagascar.

*Broad-billed Roller "Eurystomus glaucurus"

Ground-rollers

Order: CoraciiformesFamily: Brachypteraciidae

The ground-roller are a small family of non-migratory near-passerine birds. They resemble the true rollers. All 5 species are found only in Madagascar.

*Short-legged Ground-Roller "Brachypteracias leptosomus" (E)
*Scaly Ground-Roller "Brachypteracias squamigera" (E)
*Pitta-like Ground-Roller "Atelornis pittoides" (E)
*Rufous-headed Ground-Roller "Atelornis crossleyi" (E)
*Long-tailed Ground-Roller "Uratelornis chimaera" (E)

Cuckoo-roller

Order: CoraciiformesFamily: Leptosomatidae

The Cuckoo-roller is an insectivorous meduim-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.

*Cuckoo-roller "Leptosomus discolor"

Hoopoes

Order: CoraciiformesFamily: Upupidae

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

*Hoopoe "Upupa epops"
*Madagascar Hoopoe "Upupa marginata" (E)

Asities

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Philepittidae

The asities are small plump bird, which are likely to be related to the broadbills. All 4 species are found only in Madagascar.

*Velvet Asity "Philepitta castanea" (E)
*Schlegel's Asity "Philepitta schlegeli" (E)
*Common Sunbird-asity "Neodrepanis coruscans" (E)
*Yellow-bellied Sunbird-asity "Neodrepanis hypoxanthus" (E)

Larks

Order: PasseriformesFamily: 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 and 1 species which occurs in Madagascar.

*Madagascar Lark "Mirafra hova" (E)

wallows and Martins

Order: PasseriformesFamily: 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 4 species which occur in Madagascar.

*Bank Swallow "Riparia riparia" (A)
*Plain Martin "Riparia paludicola"
*Mascarene Martin "Phedina borbonica"
*Barn Swallow "Hirundo rustica" (A)

Wagtails and Pipits

Order: PasseriformesFamily: 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 and 1 species which occurs in Madagascar.

*Madagascar Wagtail "Motacilla flaviventris" (E)

Cuckoo-shrikes

Order: PasseriformesFamily: 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 and 1 species which occurs in Madagascar.

*Ashy Cuckoo-shrike "Coracina cinerea"

Bulbuls

Order: PasseriformesFamily: 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 6 species which occur in Madagascar.

*Long-billed Greenbul "Phyllastrephus madagascariensis" (E)
*Spectacled Greenbul "Phyllastrephus zosterops" (E)
*Appert's Greenbul "Phyllastrephus apperti" (E)
*Dusky Greenbul "Phyllastrephus tenebrosus" (E)
*Gray-crowned Greenbul "Phyllastrephus cinereiceps" (E)
*Madagascar Bulbul "Hypsipetes madagascariensis"

Thrushes and allies

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Turdidae

The thrushes are a group of passerine birds that occur mainly in the Old World. They are plump, soft plumaged, small to medium-sized insectivores or sometimes omnivores, often feeding on the ground. Many have attractive songs. There are 335 species worldwide and 3 species which occur in Madagascar.

*Forest Rock-Thrush "Pseudocossyphus sharpei" (E)
*Benson's Rock-Thrush "Pseudocossyphus bensoni" (E)
*Littoral Rock-Thrush "Pseudocossyphus imerinus" (E)

Cisticolas and allies

Order: PasseriformesFamily: 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 and 1 species which occurs in Madagascar.

*Madagascar Cisticola "Cisticola cherinus"

Old World warblers

Order: PasseriformesFamily: 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.

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

Old World flycatchers

Order: PasseriformesFamily: 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 and 2 species which occur in Madagascar.

*Madagascar Magpie Robin "Copsychus albospecularis" (E)
*African Stonechat "Saxicola torquata"

Wattle-eyes

Order: PasseriformesFamily: 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.

*Ward's Flycatcher "Pseudobias wardi" (E)

Monarch flycatchers

Order: PasseriformesFamily: 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.

*Madagascar Paradise Flycatcher "Terpsiphone mutata"

Babblers

Order: PasseriformesFamily: 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 Jery "Neomixis tenella" (E)
*Green Jery "Neomixis viridis" (E)
*Stripe-throated Jery "Neomixis striatigula" (E)
*Wedge-tailed Jery "Hartertula flavoviridis" (E)
*White-throated Oxylabes "Oxylabes madagascariensis" (E)
*Yellow-browed Oxylabes "Crossleyia xanthophrys" (E)
*Crossley's Babbler "Mystacornis crossleyi" (E)

unbirds and Spiderhunters

Order: PasseriformesFamily: 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.

*Souimanga Sunbird "Cinnyris sovimanga"
*Madagascar Sunbird "Cinnyris notatus"

White-eyes

Order: PasseriformesFamily: 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.

*Madagascar White-eye "Zosterops maderaspatanus"

Old World Orioles

Order: PasseriformesFamily: 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.

*Eurasian Golden Oriole "Oriolus oriolus" (A)

Vangas

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Vangidae

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

*Red-tailed Vanga "Calicalicus madagascariensis" (E)
*Red-shouldered Vanga "Calicalicus rufocarpalis" (E)
*Rufous Vanga "Schetba rufa" (E)
*Hook-billed Vanga "Vanga curvirostris" (E)
*Lafresnaye's Vanga "Xenopirostris xenopirostris" (E)
*Van Dam's Vanga "Xenopirostris damii" (E)
*Pollen's Vanga "Xenopirostris polleni" (E)
*Sickle-billed Vanga "Falculea palliata" (E)
*White-headed Vanga "Artamella viridis" (E)
*Chabert Vanga "Leptopterus chabert" (E)
*Blue Vanga "Cyanolanius madagascarinus"
*Bernier's Vanga "Oriolia bernieri" (E)
*Helmet Vanga "Euryceros prevostii" (E)
*Tylas Vanga "Tylas eduardi" (E)
*Nuthatch Vanga "Hypositta corallirostris" (E)

Drongos

Order: PasseriformesFamily: 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.

*Crested Drongo "Dicrurus forficatus"

Crows, Jays, Ravens and Magpies

Order: PasseriformesFamily: 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 and 1 species which occurs in Madagascar.

*Pied Crow "Corvus albus"

tarlings

Order: PasseriformesFamily: 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 and 2 species which occur in Madagascar.

*Madagascar Starling "Saroglossa aurata" (E)
*Common Myna "Acridotheres tristis" (I)

Weavers and allies

Order: PasseriformesFamily: 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 and 4 species which occur in Madagascar.

*Nelicourvi Weaver "Ploceus nelicourvi" (E)
*Sakalava Weaver "Ploceus sakalava" (E)
*Red Fody "Foudia madagascariensis" (E)
*Forest Fody "Foudia omissa" (E)

Waxbills and allies

Order: PasseriformesFamily: 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 Waxbill "Estrilda astrild" (I)
*Madagascar Munia "Lonchura nana" (E)

parrows

Order: PasseriformesFamily: 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.

*House Sparrow "Passer domesticus" (I)

ee also

*List of birds
*Lists of birds by region

References

*cite web
last = Lepage
first = Denis
authorlink =
coauthors =
year =
url = http://www.bsc-eoc.org/avibase/avibase.jsp?region=mg&pg=checklist&list=clements
title = Checklist of birds of Madagascar
format =
work = Bird Checklists of the World
publisher = Avibase
accessdate = 27 April
accessyear = 2007

*cite book
title=Birds of the World: a Checklist
first= James F.
last = Clements
publisher = Cornell University Press
date = 2000
id = ISBN 0934797161
pages = 880


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