The Madagascar Fody (Foudia madagascariensis) is a small bird in the Ploceidae family of weaver birds. It is also known as the Red Fody or the Red Cardinal Fody.
The male Madagascar Fody is bright red with black markings around each eye and on its wings. Its wings and tail are olive-brown. Its underbelly is red. The female is olive-brown with a greyish-brown underbelly. Both the male and female have a short black beak and pinkish legs.
It grows to about 13 centimetres (5 inches) tall.
It is native to Madagascar. It prefers forest clearings, grasslands, and farmlands.
It feeds on seeds and insects.
The male and female form a monogamous pair. The male builds a round nest with a side entrance and porch, which is a short tube. The nest is made of roots, grass, and long strands of vegetation woven together. It takes him about eight days to build the nest. Many nests can be seen on one tree.
The female lays 3-5 eggs, which hatch after 11-14 days. Both the male and female look after the chicks.
[Location of photographs: Parc Zoologique de Paris in Bois de Vincennes, France]
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM