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Rainforest Birds – Madagascar Fody

Bird Name:

Madagascar Fody

Latin Name:

Foudia madagascariensis

Status:

Least Concern

Scientific Classification:

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Aves

Order: Passeriformes

Family: Ploceidae

Genus: Foudia

Species: F. madagascariensis

General Information:

The other common names of the Madagascar Fody are the Red Cardinal Fody and the Common Fody. This is a small bird occurring on Madagascar and other Indian Ocean islands. It has been observed in large groups, and is often linked to mix-species flocks in the forest.

Physical Description:

The Madagascar Fody is roughly 5 inches long and weighs about 12 to 19 g. The breeding males are mostly red with olive-brown wings and tails. There are also black markings around its eyes. Females and non-breeding males have olive-brown upperparts and grayish-brown underparts. Juveniles are similar to the females but are buffier in appearance.

Diet:

This fody feeds primarily on seeds, but will also forage for insects and take nectar.

Habitat:

This fody was originally endemic to Madagascar. It has since been introduced to a number of islands including the Amirantes, Comoros, Réunion, Seychelles, Mauritius, St. Helena. It occurs on open savanna, grasslands, forest clearings, as well as cultivated areas. The Madagascar Fody nests are oval and upright, made by the male with female assistance in the early stages.

Reproduction:

The Madagascar Fody is monogamous. The breeding season lasts from spring through summer and into autumn. The female usually lays 2 -4 eggs per clutch, and incubates them alone for about 11 – 14 days. Both male and female feed the young. Fledging generally occurs some 15 – 16 days after.

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