Banded Cutie -Madagascar Fody (Foudia madagascariensis)   Leave a comment

Madagascar Fody Male_sRGB

I found myself in the beautiful islands of Seychelles, in the early part of this month. The island was pretty, and the visitors even prettier, but my sights were set on some birding action. Seychelles, on its part, also didn’t dissappoint.

Seychelles are a group of islands in the Indian Ocean region, scattered between India and Africa. These islands broke away from mainland Africa along with India around 100 million years ago. The Indian landmass drifted further and eventually joined Asia.

This country has very unique flora and fauna with many endemic species. I was in Seychelles as part of my company offsite. So, technically I didnt have much free time to devote to birding. I had roughly around thirty six odd hours to capture as much of the endemic species, as I could. However, something must indeed be said about beginner’s luck. I managed to photograph four endemic species, within the first two hours of setting foot on Seychelles. Considering the fact that it took me around one hour just to get to our hotel, after landing at the airport, that was quite an achievement. All my research didnt quite point to the fact that the Kempinski hotel is a magnet for many of the endemic species of birds. I sighted the elusive Seychelles Krestel besides the Seychelles Sunbird, Seychelles Bulbul and Seychelles Blue Pigeon, within the hotel property, and that too without much effort.

The most beautiful of them all was indeed the male Madagascar Fody. It is not an original inhabitant of Seychelles but has now been successfully introduced into many of the Indian ocean islands. Its an extemely commion bird here – rarely would one find a common bird that looks so gorgeous. The male takes on this orangish hue, only during the mating period, otherwise it has a less dramatic brownish and olive plumage. As I said, lady luck was quite generous with me, and I showed up exactly at the right time to snap up this beautiful weaver.


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