Family Ibises, Spoonbills (Threskiornithidae)

Near Threatened

Madagascar Crested Ibis (Lophotibis cristata)


French: Ibis huppé German: Schopfibis Spanish: Ibis crestado
Other common names: Madagascar Ibis

Tantalus cristatus


, 1783,



Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • L. c. cristata (Boddaert, 1783) – N & E Madagascar.
  • L. c. urschi Lavauden, 1929 – W & S Madagascar.
  • Descriptive notes

    50 cm. Unmistakable within range. In some birds, crest shows more white than in the individual illustrated. Sexes alike. Bill lime-green at base, grading to olive at tip,... read more


    Advertising song given (from perch) usually at night, around dusk or in early morning is long (5–20... read more


    All kinds of original woodland (deciduous and partially evergreen) of Madagascar, including humid... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet presumably based on invertebrates, including adults and larvae of insects, as well as earthworms, spiders and snails; also small... read more


    At start of rainy season, Sept–Jan, perhaps mainly Oct–Dec. Solitary. Nest is fairly large platform (> 100 cm across) made... read more


    Presumably sedentary. In past, claimed that E populations were probably migratory, but not... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened; previously considered Vulnerable in Red Data Book (1978/79). The population is estimated at 10,000 birds.... read more

    Recommended citation

    Matheu, E., del Hoyo, J., Kirwan, G.M. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2019). Madagascar Crested Ibis (Lophotibis cristata). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 16 February 2019).