Landbirds

Seychelles warbler / Timerl dezil

Acrocephalus sechellensis

Seychelles warbler

This little bird is the main reason why Cousin became a nature reserve. Close to extinction in the 1960’s, Birdlife International bought Cousin Island, the warbler’s last remaining refuge in 1968, in order to save it. Now there are over 320 birds on Cousin, and have since been introduced to Cousin, Aride, and Denis Islands by Nature Seychelles and partnering universities. The total world population of the bird is around 2,500. Like other warblers, these birds feed on insects. They are territorial but grown chicks often stay with their parents to help raise subsequent broods.

Seychelles magpie-robin / Pi santez

Copsychus sechellarum

Seychelles magpie robin

This charismatic bird, originally found in great numbers on several islands, was in 1990 down to a population of only 23 birds on Frégate island, making it one of the most critically endangered species in the world. In 1990, a special recovery programme was established by Nature Seychelles, leading to the eventual translocation of several birds to Cousin, Cousine, and Aride islands. In 1999 the total population had increased to 90 birds, 25 of them on Cousin, and today, the island has a population of around 50. However, only on Cousin do the birds subsist entirely on their natural diet of leaf litter insects like cockroaches and millipedes; the birds on the other islands are given supplementary bird food and cockroaches.

Seychelles sunbird / Kolibri

Nectarina dussumieri

Seychelles sunbird

This noisy little bird is found on most Seychelles islands. It feeds on nectar and insects. The male has an iridescent throat and, if observed carefully, can be seen to have orange/yellow tufts under the wings which are displayed during courtship or when defending it’s territory. They build a delicate hanging nest from grasses, Casuarina needles and other fibres.

Seychelles fody / Tok-tok

Foudia sechellarum

Seychelles fody

This cheeky sparrow-like bird is only found on Cousin, Cousine, Aride and Frégate islands, all of which are free from tree-climbing rats. On Cousin, we have 500-600 pairs, representing about 30% of the world population of this globally threatened species. It is believed that their untidy nest built in the fork of a branch is easily accessible to rats, a factor which has limited their survival on other islands. They feed on insects, fruits and seeds, and will also feast on unprotected seabird eggs if given the opportunity. They are larger than the Madagascar fody, which is found on other granitic islands, and the males have a patch of yellow on the forehead and throat.

Seychelles blue pigeon / Pizon olande

Alectroenas pulcherrima

Seychelles blue pigeon

A relatively new resident on Cousin, several pairs of this lovely bird have been recorded nesting on the island. They feed on the fruits of the Banyan, Takamaka, Vouloutye and others. Barred ground dove / Tortrel koko Geopelia striata [photo] As with many other common birds in Seychelles, this one is not endemic, but a native of Malaysia, probably introduced to Seychelles via Mauritius. Found mainly on the beach crest, they feed on fallen seeds of grasses, Casuarina trees, and other plants.

Malagasy turtle dove / Tourtrel dezil

Stretopelia picturata

Malagasy turtle dove

Seychelles endemic sub-species of turtle dove was lost to hybridization with this variety from Madagascar. Some individuals on Cousin bear resemblance to the original Seychelles race. They feed mainly on seeds and fruits.

Moorhen / Pouldo

Gallinula chloropus

Moorhen

Despite their seemingly awkward flight, Moorhens have managed to colonise a large number of islands throughout the world. There is a resident population on Cousin, members of which can best be seen near the swamp but also throughout the plateau, in search of insects, fruits and small lizards.