Famous for its unique wildlife Madagascar has always attracted visitors keen to discover rare and exotic plants and animals. Here we take a look at the extraordinary birds of Madagascar.
The large Madagascar fish-eagle (Haliaeetus vociferoides) is the largest raptor in Madagascar and is one of the rarest birds of prey.
The body is a dark reddish-brown with dark brown wings. Its cheeks and throat are a whitish colour while its short tail is pure white.
The juvenile Madagascar fish-eagle has streaks on its head and pale fringes to its flight feathers. Its underparts are paler and tail darker than the adult’s. It hunts near or over water and often perches for long periods on tall trees.
The Madagascar fish-eagle has a melodious call, similar to the closely related African fish-eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer).
The Malagasy Kingfisher or Madagascar Kingfisher (Alcedo vintsioides) is a member of the Alcedinidae family. It is found in Madagascar, and Mayotte (Comoros). Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical mangrove forests.
The Malagasy Kingfisher is found in all types of wetlands, as well as along the island’s coastline. Both sexes are similar.
White throated rail
The Aldabra rail is the last surviving flightless bird in the western Indian Ocean.
It has a slender build with a long, fairly slender neck, legs and feet. The plumage is well defined, being largely bright chestnut except for the striking white throat.
The fairly long, straight bill is dark with, in females, a bright pink base, and in males, a dull or dark red base. Juveniles generally have duller plumage than adults.
Being a flightless bird, the wings are short and are often held close to the body where they blend in with the rest of the plumage.
Many consider the Aldabra rail a subspecies of the white-throated rail (Dryolimnas cuvier).
Madagascar Paradise Flycatcher
The symbol of Constance Tsarabanjina, the Malagasy Paradise Flycatcher is a medium-sized passerine, measuring 18cm in length and weighing about 12.2g.
Males have long tail plumes, which can add as much as 18cm to their overall length.
The female is largely rufous orange, with a black head and nape. The flight feathers on her wings are black with rufous edges, and she has a thin, light blue eyelid wattle.
Find out more
- Take a look at some of the stunning birdlife of Madagascar.