Mesitornithidae – Mesites

Subdesert Mesite (Monias benschi) from Wikipedia

Subdesert Mesite (Monias benschi) from Wikipedia

The birds of the air, And the fish of the sea That pass through the paths of the seas. O LORD, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth! (Psalms 8:8-9 NKJV)

CLASS – AVES, Order – MESITORNITHIFORMES, Family – Mesitornithidae – Mesites

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Species (3)

White-breasted Mesite (Mesitornis variegatus)
Brown Mesite (Mesitornis unicolor)
Subdesert Mesite (Monias benschi)


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The mesites (Mesitornithidae) are a family of birds of uncertain affinities. They are smallish, near flightless birds endemic to Madagascar. Generally brownish with paler undersides, they are of somewhat pheasant-like appearance and were initially placed with the Galliformes. Most commonly, they are placed in the Gruiformes (cranes, rails and allies), but this has been disputed in more recent times.
They are the only family with more than two species in which every species is threatened; all three are listed as vulnerable and are expected to decline greatly in the next 20 years. They are forest and scrubland birds which feed on insects and seeds. The Brown and White-breasted Mesites forage on the ground, gleaning insects from the leaves and under them, as well as low vegetation. The Subdesert Mesite uses its long bill to probe in the soil. (Wikipedia with editing)

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