MADAGASCAN Tropical & Subtropical Moist Broadleaf Forest

Like many of the plants and animals throughout the rest of the country, many of the bird species in the rainforest of Madagascar are endemic.

Family Glareolidae

(Mangabe, Madagascar)

Glareola ocularis, 'Madagascan Pratincole'.

Family Philepittidae: 'Asities'

A small family of two genera and four species, all endemic to Madagascar. Originally thought to be related to Pittas, they were more recently considered to be related to Broadbills. They are sexually dimorphic, with the males devloping colourful heads masks around the eyes. The colour is unique in the animal kingdom, as the pigmentation is provided by collagen fibres. Although they are one of Madagascar's few fruit eating (and thus seed dispersing) birds, they also have forked tongues for nectar collection. They have very short tails.

Philepitta spp., 'Asity'

There are only species in this genus. The genus name is a combination of two bird names; the Friarbirds of Australasian Honeyeaters and the colourful rainforest Pittas.


Philepitta schlegeli, 'Schlegel's Asity'. Endemic to dry and wet forest in Madagascar.

Family Vangidae

The biggest family of birds in Madagascar are the Vanga. Although species in the family are also found in other parts of the old world tropics of Africa and Asia, it is Madagascar where they have radiated to an extraordinary degree. Species of bird in Madagascar that were once thought to be other types of birds such as Babblers, Bulbuls and Warblers, have been found to be Vanga hat have evolved to fill different niches. This family offers some of the most amazing and easy to recognise examples of convergent evolution. 

vanga-hook-billed-andasibe(Andasibe, Madagascar)

Vanga curvirostris, 'Hook-billed Vanga'. Relatively large for a vanga, with a black and white colouration like no other species in the family. This Vanga is predatory and it's hook-bill and colouration are equivalents to Old World Shrikes or Australasian Butcherbirds. Found in a range of habitats, including forest.


Calicalicus madagascariensis, 'Red-tailed Vanga'. Found in dry forest, rainforest and forest edge in Madagascar. 

vanga-nuthatch-andasibe(Andasibe, Madagascar)

Hypositta corallirostris, 'Nuthatch Vanga', 'Coral-billed Vanga'. Small blue Vanga with red bill. Like a nuthatch, creeper or woodpecker, it feeds while climbing up tree trunks. Found in the rainforest at various altitudes in eastern Madagascar.

vanga-tylers-andasibe(Andasibe, Madagascar)

Tylas eduardi , 'Tylas Vanga' (Not Tyler's Vanga). Medium sized Vanga. Has a black head, and varying amounts of rufous on breast. Two different sub-species found in dry and wet forest. Endemic to Madagascar.

Family Dicruridae: Drongos

Family Monarchidae

(Mangabe, Madagascar)

Terpsiphone mutata'Madagascan Paradise Flycatcher'.

Family Bernieridae: Malagasy Warblers

Family Pycnonotidae: Bulbuls

This family is most diverse in tropical Asia, with other species found across the Old World. There is one native species in Madagascar.

Hypsipetes madagascariensis, 'Malagasy Bulbul'.  The species here was split from the Black Bulbul, of which is looks quite similar. The Malagasy Bulbul is found in various wet and dry habitats across Madagascar, and with subspecies on surrounding island groups.

Family Zosteropidae: White-eyes

(Andasibe, Madagascar)

Zosterops maderaspatanus, 'Madagascar White eye'.

Family Sturnidae: Starlings & Mynas

Family Muscicapidae: Old World Flycatchers, Chats

(Andasibe, Madagascar)

Copsychus albospecularis, 'Madagascar Magpie Robin'.

Family Nectariniidae: Sunbirds

(Andasibe, Madagascar)

Cinnyris notatus, 'Malagasy Green Sunbird'. Endemic to Madagascar and Comoros, where it is found in many wet and dry habitats.

Family Ploceidae: Weavers
Family Motacillidae: Wagtails & Pipits

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