Madagascar Ibis (Lophotibis cristata)

Madagascar Ibis

[order] CICONIIFORMES | [family] Threskiornithidae | [latin] Lophotibis cristata | [authority] Boddaert, 1783 | [UK] Madagascar Ibis | [FR] Ibis huppe | [DE] Schopfibis | [ES] Ibis Crestado | [NL] Kuifibis


Monotypic species


The Madagascar Ibis (Lophotibis cristata), also known as the Madagascar Crested Ibis, White-winged Ibis or Crested Wood Ibis, is a medium-sized (approximately 50cm long), brown-plumaged ibis. It has bare red orbital skin, yellow bill, red legs, white wings and its head is partially bare with a dense crest of green or gloss blue and white plumes on the nape. The Madagascar Crested Ibis is the only member in the genus Lophotibis.

Physical charateristics

A large red-and-white forest ibis. Body mostly reddish, with iridescent green feathers on head and crest, which has a yellowish or whitish tip. Bare skin around eye and legs red. Wings white, bill pale yellow.

Listen to the sound of Madagascar Ibis

[audio: Ibis.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 48 cm size max.: 53 cm
incubation min.: 0 days incubation max.: 0 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 2  
      eggs max.: 3  


Africa : Madagascar. Lophotibis cristata is endemic to Madagascar, where it is widespread and locally common, occurring in all types of native forest from sea-level to 2,000 m


In the east it seems relatively adaptable, having been recorded in secondary woodland habitats such as relict trees in and around vanilla and oil-palm plantations, but only where these are close to areas of primary habitat. It inhabits all types of original woodland, including humid forest in the north and east, and dry forest in the south and west6. It is occasionally seen in mangroves.


Breeding occurs at the start of the rainy season. The nest is a large platform made of branches, usually in major forks of trees, 7-15 m above the forest floor. It may lay two eggs, but usually three.

Feeding habits

It usually feeds in pairs on the forest floor, eating invertebrates and small vertebrates including frogs and reptiles

Video Madagascar Ibis


copyright: Josep del Hoyo


This species is listed as Near Threatened as its population is projected to decline moderately rapidly in the future owing to the poaching of adults, young and eggs, as well as deforestation.
It is universally known by hunters and others who live in forested areas, and is a favoured quarry species wherever it occurs. Birds are caught by traps and snares, and eggs, nestlings and even adults are taken off the nest. Over-hunting may therefore threaten this species in the future. Its forest habitat is being destroyed, especially in the east, where deforestation is intense.
Madagascar Ibis status Near Threatened


The species is presumed to be sedentary, although there are uncorroborated past claims that eastern populations are migratory

Distribution map

Madagascar Ibis distribution range map

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