The Madagascar Velvet Asity (Philepitta castanea)

The Madagascar Velvet Asity (Philepitta castanea) is a species of bird endemic to Madagascar. It belongs to the family Philepittidae, which consists of four species of birds commonly known as asities.

Here are some key points about the Madagascar Velvet Asity:

  1. Appearance: The Madagascar Velvet Asity is known for its striking appearance. It has glossy, iridescent plumage with a velvety texture, ranging in color from deep blue to black on its upperparts and bright yellow on its underparts. Males and females exhibit similar coloration.
  2. Habitat: These birds are found in the rainforests of eastern Madagascar, where they inhabit the mid to upper canopy levels. They prefer dense, humid forests with a variety of tree species. Our tour in Andasibe in the Mantadia region will take you to spot this bird in its natural habitat.
  3. Diet: Madagascar Velvet Asities primarily feed on nectar, which they obtain from flowers using their specialized, brush-tipped tongues. They also consume small insects and spiders, particularly during the breeding season when they require additional protein.
  4. Behavior: Madagascar Velvet Asities are known for their unique feeding behavior. They often hover while feeding on nectar, similar to hummingbirds, and are capable of performing acrobatic maneuvers to access flowers high in the canopy.
  5. Conservation: The Madagascar Velvet Asity is currently classified as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Like many other species endemic to Madagascar, habitat loss and degradation due to deforestation pose significant threats to their populations. Conservation efforts aimed at protecting their remaining forest habitat are essential for their survival.

Overall, the Madagascar Velvet Asity is a beautiful and ecologically important bird species endemic to Madagascar, highlighting the island’s rich biodiversity and the importance of conservation efforts to protect its unique flora and fauna. To spot this rare bird, book our Rainforest Birding Tour 13 Days


1 Comment

  1. m88
    14 April 2024


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