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Madagascar Partridge - BirdForum Opus

Photo by balticbird
Isalo, Madagascar
Margaroperdix madagarensis


26-30 cm. Male unmistakable.

  • Reddish brown crown with white striping bordered with black
  • Sides of the head and throat are dark grey to brown with a white stripe above the eyes and along the side of the throat
  • Chestnut upper breast, black lower breast and belly with oval spots
  • Wings, flanks and tail are barred buff, chestnut and black

Females are dull brownish, but distinctively patterned below with large scallops.
Immatures not described but apparently similar to female.


Madagascar; introduced at Reunion Island and Mauritius Island.
Formerly common, now scarce. Threatened by habitat degradation resulting from fires, also heavily exploited through hunting. Common on Reunion Island, uncommon on Mauritius Island.


This is a monotypic species.
The second part of the scientific name has sometimes been wrongly spelled as madagascarensis or madagascariensis.


Brushland and forest areas, often in secondary habitats. Also in grassland and weedy farmland.
Occurs from sea-level up to 2700 m.



No details known.
Feeds probably on seeds, berries, roots and insects.


Nesting recorded from March to June on High Plateau. The nest is placed on the ground, well hidden in a tuft of grass. Lays 15 to 20 eggs.


Presumably a sedentary species.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, B.L. Sullivan, C. L. Wood, and D. Roberson. 2013. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.8., with updates to August 2013. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliot, and J Sargatal, eds. 1994. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 2: New World Vultures to Guineafowl. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8487334153
  3. Thread in Birdforum Taxonomy forum discussing this species.

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