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Birds

Successful hunter: Henst’s Goshawk

The Madagascar Goshawk or Henst’s Goshawk (Accipiter henstii) lives up to its name: it lives exclusively on the red island and cannot be found anywhere else in the world. It can often be seen circling high in the sky during the dry season. Henst’s Goshawk grows to 52 to 62 centimeters with an impressive wingspan of 86 to 100 centimeters. …

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The Malagasy Scops Owl

Owls are mysterious guardians of the night. The Malagasy Scops Owl (Otus rutilus) is a very special bird of the red island: it weighs only a little more than a bar of chocolate and reaches a size of only up to 23 cm. This makes it, as its name suggests, a very small owl. Like all owls, it can move …

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The Madagascan Nightjar

Swallows are actually known as diurnal. In the early morning, you can hear their shriiieeh calls, they spend the day in the air. However, the Madagascan Nightjar (Caprimulgus madagascariensis madagascariensis) is an exception. This unusual bird sleeps during the day, pressed close to the ground. The marbled plumage camouflages the animals perfectly, they disappear almost completely from the ground. Even …

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The black Vasa Parrots

Madagascar has many fascinating animals. There is only one thing the island in the Indian Ocean does not have: large, colorful parrots. Instead, evolution has come up with something very special here. In the Malagasy tropics, parrots are completely black. The unusual birds are called Vasa Parrots. There are different species: One is the Greater Vasa Parrot (Coracopsis vasa). It …

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Trickster with plumage: The Crested Drongo

Drongos populate the entire continent of Africa. Their habitat on the island of Madagascar is just as variable as the African continent. From dry forest to rainforest, from intact primary jungle to man-made farmland, the Drongo can cope with almost any environment. But the Drongo species on Madagascar is a special one: Here live the Madagascan, endemic subspecies of the …

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The Crested Coua

Couas are only found in Madagascar. A particularly pretty representative of these colorful birds is the Crested Coua (Coua cristata). The back and tail feathers are purple, the breast feathers are rust-red, the head carries the eponymous mop of feathers. Around the eyes, as with all Couass, there is naked skin around the eyes, which glows blue in this species. …

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Madagascar’s bee-eaters

Bienenfresser

Bee-eaters (Merops superciliosus) are among the most colourful birds in Madagascar. Here and there it is called olive bee-eater. Including its tail this small bird measures up to 30 cm in length, and it is not even 50 g heavy. It is not easy to differentiate males and females by colour: Both wear a splendid green plumage with a beige-reddish …

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Strong together: The Sakalava weaver

Sakalavaweber

The small, only 25 g weighing Sakalava weaver (Ploceus sakalava) only occur in Madagascar. As the name indicates, they belong to the weaver birds and are widely distributed around the island: Everywhere where the eponymous tribe of the Sakalava lives. This is mainly western Madagascar; from the deep, hot and dry South to the North. Sakalava weaver prefer dry areas. …

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Small but a kingfisher

Corythornis madagascariensis

Kingfishers inhabit many parts of the world. But Madagascar has, additional to the usual kingfisher with its blue blaze of color, another extraordinary variant: The Madagascar pygmy-kingfisher (Corythornis madagascariensis). It bears its name rightly: The pygmy-kingfisher is only 13 cm in size and weighs only 20 grams. A real lightweight! This species also differs from its “big brother” in color: …

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Madagascar’s rarest bird of prey

Seeadler Nosy Hara

Mighty dark brown wings, a sharp beak and claws that easily spear through a fish: These are the characteristis of one of the rarest birds of prey in the world. It occurs only – how could it be otherwise – on the eighth continent. We are talking about the Madagascar fish eagle (Haliaeetus vociferoides), Madagascar’s majestic largest bird of prey. …

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