Mammals of Madagascar (Lynx Edicions)

10,000 Birds

Take Madagascar, for example, one of the world’s highest-priority Biodiversity Hotspots: that island-continent is most famous for its penguins. Well, sort of, as there are no penguins in Madagascar, indigenous or otherwise.

Heirs to Madagascar’s Royal Throne Born

4 The Love Of Animals

The world’s critically endangered lemur population has just expanded by two: twin baby ring-tailed lemurs born at the Duke Lemur Center, both named Princess Julien after Madagascar’s most famous royal lemur, King Julien. Princess Julien and her sister Princess Julien … Continue reading → The post Heirs to Madagascar’s Royal Throne Born appeared first on 4 The Love of Animals.

Madagascar’s Lost and Found

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Madagascar, however, has had more than its fair share of extinct or lost species and Madagascar Pochard was firmly on this list. However numerous expeditions failed to produce any evidence of the bird and in 2006 the IUCN reclassified Madagascar Pochard as “possibly extinct”. Then rumors leaked out that at this same site the mythical Red Owl could easily be seen, Madagascar Serpent Eagle was breeding and other rare birds and lemurs abounded. Birding Africa Madagascar

Evidence of earlier humans in Madagascar is unconvincing but interesting

10,000 Birds

But here I want to note, and for now, dismiss, a find from Madagascar. It was always thought that humans first inhabited the island of Madagascar about four or five thousand years ago or so. That would change our thinking on Madagascar, as well as human movement in the Indian Ocean, considerably. There are other bits and pieces of evidence for earlier occupation of Madagascar, but just as is the case for Australia and the Americas, the thing does not hang together yet.

Madagascar: The Last Inheritor of Gondwana

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Madagascar: The Last Inheritor of Gondwana tries to walk the “all of the above” line, which is sometimes satisfying, sometimes disconcerting, and sometimes outright frustrating. Perhaps the best audience of all would be curious non-experts planning a trip to Madagascar, and lacking an overly enthusiastic buddy of their own. Putting nature on TV is a tricky business.

The five most unique birds in the world

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The Cuckoo Roller — today found only in Madagascar and Comoros — is an oddball bird with a puffy head and a chameleon-eating habit. Birds genetics Madagascar oilbirds taxonomy and systematics What are the world’s most distinctive birds? That question could be answered in several ways, but a new paper released this month — Global Distribution and Conservation of Evolutionary Distinctness in Birds (Jetz et al.

2014 87

Another Bird Species Goes Extinct

Critter News

This time, it's the Alaotra grebe from Madagascar, according to the 2010 IUCN Red List update for birds, by BirdLife International. The report has bad news for bird species all around, identifying 12.5 percent as being endangered.

2010 109

The Warbler Brewery – Moon & Back Imperial Stout

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This incredible mileage inspired the name of this week’s beer, Moon & Back, an imperial stout from the Warbler Brewery of Delmar, New York, flavored with cacao nibs and Madagascar vanilla and aged in oak bourbon barrels.

Baby Lemurs at Busch Gardens

4 The Love Of Animals

All species of lemurs are native to the island of Madagascar. Lemurs play an important role in the ecology of Madagascar as seed dispersers. The seeds can then grow into new plants, which is important since the forests of Madagascar are being destroyed at a very high rate. Busch Gardens Tampa Bay welcomed two endangered baby red-ruffed lemurs on April 21. The babies can be viewed by guests in Jambo Junction, where they reside with their mother and father, Maditra and Bozeny.

Lemurs 153

A few hours of birding on Mauritius Island

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The Red Fody is an introduced species, though from nearby, sort of (Madagascar). Apparently, Mauritius has one of the lowest tax rates in the world. Offshore businesses located in Mauritius that do not do business with Mauritians nor use Mauritian currency are exempt from Mauritian taxes.

Being A Living Fossil Evolved Multiple Times

10,000 Birds

Later the continents broke up into smaller regions such as South America, Africa, Asia and such, an a few smaller pieces like Madagascar and New Zealand as well. These all had their own sub population of one or more species of large land bird, and these populations, in turn, give us the large lane birds we have today, except on Madagascar where the Elephant Bird went extinct (recently).

2014 67

“Peacocks and Picathartes: Reflections on Africa’s Birdlife”

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A lot of destinations were mentioned, with Central and South America leading the way, New Guinea, Indonesia and Australia appearing only at the middle of the list, and African countries (South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania and Madagascar) lagging at the end of the list.

Where America dreams of/goes birding?

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Here are the results: 3 per cent of respondents (in no particular order): Trinidad and Tobago, Chile, Tanzania, Madagascar. Kenya and Tanzania combined offer the longest tour list of Africa, South Africa with its good infrastructure and easiness of finding birds comes close second, while Madagascar is there because of its 100 endemics. I had no intention of making a questionnaire or analysing the results.

2019 70

Introducing the African Birding Beat

10,000 Birds

I have thoroughly explored vast parts of the continent as well as neighboring Madagascar, in the process seeing over 2,000 birds on the continent and all but one Malagasy endemic. One of Africa’s unique birds, a Secretarybird photographed in Etosha National Park, Namibia The Cape Rockjumper belongs to an African endemic family comprising of 2 species Madagascar, oft termed the 8th continent, has her own attractions. Friends, birders, and globe-trotters, lend me your ears.

2011 72

Endemic Seychelles

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1300kms off the coast of East Africa and over 1000kms NE from Madagascar is a tiny speck in the ocean. Red Fody , Madagascar Dove and Zebra Dove were all abundant. Zoom in and an archipelago of islands appears from the Indian Ocean. This is The Seychelles. The land-dependent birds here are a long way remote from their ecological heritage and have developed an exciting degree of endemism.

African Skimmers at the Kazinga Channel

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As well as being a great river to cruise for game, you can also see great birds like Water Stone-curlews , Madagascar Bee-eaters , Goliath Herons and Red Spurfowl. It’s a month to I go traveling in Africa again, but between that date and now I have a massive project to deliver, which has reached the ‘invading my dreams’ level of panic.

2014 64

Save the Junin Grebe for the Price of Your Morning Coffee

10,000 Birds

And the missed Alaotra Grebe of Madagascar. I love a coffee in the morning. I live in Wellington, a city with more coffee shops and restaurants per capita than any other city in the world. But I won’t be having my usual coffee, (flat white, large, no sugar, thanks) tomorrow. I’ll be tipping my cash to a worthwhile project in Peru, and I hope you will too. You see, it isn’t the easiest thing in the world being a flightless grebe.

2016 59

National Geographic launches Birding TV Show

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His passion for wildlife and traveling has led him all over the world, from the Amazon to Australia and even Madagascar. Ok, so I’m unashamedly promoting my new show on National Geographic WILD in this post. It offers a fantastic insight into the lives of Harris’s Hawks , the Sonoran Desert and its creatures. Please see below for more details. The National Geographic WILD TV network is debuting Aeria l Assassins , hosted by James Currie on Friday, January 20, 2012.

2012 86

Birding Greece: Black and white world

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It really puzzles me, why they go all the way across the Sahara and Eastern Africa to overwinter as far as Madagascar, instead of staying somewhere closer, in continental Africa? Madagascar must have separated from Africa long before they evolved. Winding between the old Olives, the road ahead of me veers into the hills of the Pelion Peninsula, near the harbour town of Volos. A movement in the corner of my eye… a buzzard.

My Subtropical Bird Garden

10,000 Birds

Jacaranda: The jacaranda, from Madagascar, is a spectacularly beautiful tree when in bloom here in March and April. Those who follow my posts know by now that I love gardening. And I love making my little garden (some 1400 square feet) more attractive to birds.

2020 58

Exploring the Uncharted Bird World

10,000 Birds

201-400 sp: Madagascar, north African countries; European countries; Asia Minor, Arabian Peninsula, Mongolia. Summer is normally the vacation season, for ordinary tourists at least. Birders follow different patterns of bird migration and their local activities and travel accordingly. But – where? I discovered this cover-photo map somewhere at the BirdLife International’s website. It illustrates the bird richness per country.

2018 65

Landfill by Tim Dee: Review

10,000 Birds

At some stage, in the darkness with Claire and Callan, Tim Dee was stalking a nightjar in Madagascar. I have visited my local landfill for the last seven years, usually several times per winter, only to recently stumble upon a book called the Landfill! While I have written several blogs on the topic (e.g., here and here ), Tim Dee devoted an entire book to it and I just had to read it. “‘I haven’t met people who say, I quite like gulls. You’re either into it, or you’re not.

2019 62

“Wild Rwanda – Where to watch birds, primates, and other wildlife”

10,000 Birds

Ken Behrens is a tour guide for Tropical Birding, originally from Idaho, but now lives in Madagascar. Forget the old news, Rwanda of today is one of Africa’s safest, cleanest and most stable countries. Slightly larger than Wales and about the size of the US state of Maryland, this country’s lure is its 703 bird species and three dozen Albertine Rift endemics among them.

The Bee-eaters of Africa

10,000 Birds

Madagascar Bee-eater Madagascar Bee-eater by Adam Riley Rather similar to Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, this species also has a rather unusual range. Two subspecies exist, the nominate breeds across Madagascar, the Comoros Islands and isolated parts of East Africa, whilst a more range restricted second form breeds in a narrow belt along the Cunene River which forms the border between Angola and Namibia. Excellent sites include Ampijoroa in Madagascar and Murchison Falls in Uganda.

A Broadbill for Christmas

10,000 Birds

As with the kingfishers and barbets I’m happy to lump them, even if it means lumping the asities of Madagascar and the rather odd Sapayoa of South America. The broadbills are always a family* that birders visiting South East Asia want to see, and who could blame them? They usually take up one or two pretty plates in the guide books, next to the even more desired pittas, and rammed in between the non-passerines and the passerines.

2014 57

The Beach Falcon

10,000 Birds

Young Eleonora’s Falcons must develop quickly because they are migrants themselves, moving across the Sahara and down the Swahili Coast to Madagascar. An afternoon is already growing old while I am driving downhill to the Livadi marsh at the island of Kefallonia, Greece. Behind the marsh is a quarry, in front of it the Gulf of Argostoli, a small pine wood to the right and some eucalyptus trees to the left.

Mallards are a Threat to Mottled Ducks in Florida

10,000 Birds

The Meller’s Duck is highly endangered in its native Madagascar. Florida is known as the Sunshine State. It is also known for the 500 exotic species of animals and plants that now call the Sunshine State home. Exotic species are animals that did not historically occur in Florida. Most were introduced, meaning they were brought to Florida by humans. One such species is the familiar mallard (Anas platyrhynchos).

2014 68

The Ole’ Bucket List

10,000 Birds

They are Ecuador for the Galapagos, Gabon for the bais, Madagascar, New Guinea and New Caledonia for everything. Well, this time next week I’ll be winging my way to Cape Town via Auckland and Singapore (air transport is weird sometimes), so this is my last beat post of the year.

2014 59

Wonderful Wedgies

10,000 Birds

But it also occurs in the Indian Ocean, from Aldabra near Madagascar to Western Australia. No, not the terror of the schoolyard, but the Wedge-tailed Shearwater , Puffinus pacificus. The species ranges widely across the Pacific, as its scientific name suggests, from the Revillagigedo Islands off Mexico to the Japanese Bonin Islands to New South Wales in Australia.

2011 58

Extinction Week Recap

10,000 Birds

The prehistoric extinctions most famously include the megafaunal assemblages of Europe, the Americas, Australia and Madagascar. Extinction endures long past regret or even memory. We nature lovers, celebrants of life in all its exquisite multiformity, feel more keenly than most the loss of even the most undifferentiated species.

2014 58

Birding the Cyclades: My my, how can I resist you?

10,000 Birds

A few weeks from now (it was early April), Eleonora’s Falcons will become a possibility, too, once they return from Madagascar. I am half-awake, but keep my eyes closed. Listening to the wheeping of stays and shrouds and screeching of fenders against the next sailboat, I do not want to wake up. Still, we are sailing out of the marina soon and I should have some coffee before that. We are in the village of Finikas on the island of Syros in the Cyclades archipelago of Greece.

2014 75

Latest high-level bird taxonomy summarized in recent paper

10,000 Birds

This clade, Mayr says, is “most likely the sister taxon&# of Madagascar’s terrestrial mesites (!). And so it’s July, which for this North American birder means a couple of things: 1. southern Australia’s cool winter weather and wonderful birds sound mighty appealing right now and 2. I, like many of you, eagerly await the release of the AOU 52nd checklist supplement, even though these days, the contents are already pretty well known in advance.

2011 57

African Pygmy Geese – Diminutive Ducks

10,000 Birds

A pair of African Pygmy Geese Adrian Binns These fascinating small ducks are found in central and southern Africa south of the Sahara, including the island of Madagascar. When I read somewhere that Pygmy Geese were not actually geese at all I started doing some research. I discovered that there are actually a fair number of ducks and other waterfowl that are wrongly called geese.

Geese 61

The Storks of Africa

10,000 Birds

Its range also extends to nearby Madagascar. The African Openbill also has a similar Africa-wide distribution (barring most of South and North Africa) as the previous four species and partakes long distance movements (usually triggered by rainfall) through the continent and to Madagascar. Africa has more than its fair share of storks, with 8 of the world’s 19 species gracing the continent.

Pink in Africa

10,000 Birds

Africa has two resident pelican species, the huge and widely distributed Great or Eastern White Pelican and the smaller Pink-backed which is restricted to Africa, the southern Arabian peninsula and Madagascar (where it may now be extinct.) Of course Africa could not to be left out of the pink weekend so I have researched all African species whose official or alternative names include the word “pink”. There are certainly some stunners involved. Pink-throated Twinspot.


10,000 Birds

Madagascar has 2 species of weaver, Sakalava in dry country and Nelicourvi Weaver from the rainforest zone. Image taken by Adam Riley in Perinet, Madagascar. Weavers are truly magical birds, combining bright plumages with ingenious weaving talents and cheerful, noisy social lives. The IOC world birdlist recognizes 90 species that bear the name “weaver” or “malimbe” Not all of these are true weavers as we will discuss below.

2012 72

I and the Bird: What is a Grebe?

10,000 Birds

Many species of grebes, particularly those found on islands, like the Madagascar Grebe and the New Zealand Grebe , and those several species limited to various high elevation lakes in South America, rarely fly, with some species even having lost the ability to do so. And now we enter into a family of birds more or less unknown to non-birders.

2013 64

The complete guide to Dodo relatives, living and dead

10,000 Birds

The Dodo lived on Mauritius, an island east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. The Dodo ( Raphus cucullatus ) — that towering icon of modern anthropogenic extinctions — was a pigeon. Not, as Linneaus thought, an ostrich, nor even, as later scientists concluded, a distant cousin of pigeons deserving of family rank, it was an honest-to-goodness pigeon, deeply embedded within the family Columbidae.

2014 86

Birds of Kruger National Park and Wildlife of Ecuador: Two WILDGuides Reviewed

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Both men lead trips for tour company Tropical Birding (Barnes is a founder), and they have also co-authored Wildlife of Madagascar (another WildGuide volume, 2016), Birding Ethiopia (with Christian Boix, 2010) and Wild Rwanda (with Christian Boix, 2015).

2017 59

Big Ticks; What Was Your Last New Family?

10,000 Birds

At this point if I want to make any dent on the remaining families I haven’t seen I’d really need to go to either Madagascar or South America. I often poke fun at listers I perceive as being more interested in ticks than birds. Listing ticks I mean, I have yet to meet a birder who is really interested in icky parasites). Not that I don’t enjoy seeing new species myself, it’s just that they are an easy target and I am nothing if not lazy and mean spirited.

Frogs and Toads of the World: A Book Review by a Fairy Tale Junkie

10,000 Birds

Origins and classification describes the evolution of frogs from lobe-finned fishes; there are some gaps in the stages from fish to frog, but scientists have identified the earliest frog-like fossil as Triadobatrachus massinoti, a creature which lived in the area we know as Madagascar about 230 million years ago. The frogs are both Madagascar Reed frogs, and they were photographed living in the same tree. “Peek!” Plunk.

2012 62

Come@Me: Don’t Mourn for Extinct Birds

10,000 Birds

A bit of background: Pink Pigeons are medium-sized, pink/gray/ brown birds found on the island of Mauritius, Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar. It was the Pink Pigeons (Nesoenas mayeri) that got me thinking. Pink Pigeons were featured on episode four of the second season of The Zoo , the excellent television series about The Bronx Zoo,* and their story was disturbing. Basically, this species is so dimwitted, it doesn’t know how to survive.

2018 40

Birding Lodges – Part 1 – Paradise in Portugal

10,000 Birds

James has led professional wildlife and birding tours for 15 years and his passion for birding and remote cultures has taken him to far corners of the earth from the Amazon and Australia to Africa and Madagascar.