File:Male Red Fody.png
Male Red Fody in breeding plumage.
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Clade: Inopinaves
Order: Passeriformes
Suborder: Passeri
Clade: Estrildid clade
Family: Ploceidae
Genus: Foudia
Reichenbach, 1850

Fodies are small passerine birds belonging to the genus Foudia in the weaver family Ploceidae. They are native to the islands of the western Indian Ocean where they occur on Madagascar, the Seychelles, the Comoro Islands and the Mascarene Islands. The Red Fody has also been introduced to the Chagos Archipelago, Bahrain and Saint Helena. While the Red Fody is one of the most common birds of the region, several of the other fodies are considered to be threatened, particularly the Mauritius Fody which is classed as endangered.

The birds are 12 to 15 centimetres (4.7 to 5.9 in) long and have short, conical bills. Males in breeding plumage are usually colourful with bright red or yellow on the head and sometimes elsewhere. Non-breeding males and females are dull, sparrow-like birds with mostly grey-brown plumage.

Fodies are typically found in forest, woodland or scrubland but some also occur in man-made habitats, especially the Red Fody. Some species feed mainly on seeds while others are largely insectivorous. Fodies build a dome-shaped nest of grass and other plant material. It has a side-opening and it is suspended from a branch or palm leaf.

Species list

Six species are generally recognized but some authors consider the Aldabra Fody to be a separate species from the Red-headed Fody.


  • Sinclair, Ian & Langrand, Olivier (1998) Birds of the Indian Ocean Islands, Struik, Cape Town.
  • Skerrett, Adrian; Bullock, Ian & Disley, Tony (2001) Birds of Seychelles, Christopher Helm, London.


Eurasian Spoonbill This article is part of Project Bird Genera, a All Birds project that aims to write comprehensive articles on each genus, including made-up genera.
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