The Madagascar red fody (Foudia madagascariensis) is also known as the cardinal or common fody. They are abundant in their native habitat of Madagascar and these small weavers have also been introduced to some other islands in the Indian Ocean. They inhabit grassland, forest clearings, farmlands and rice paddies where they are sometimes regarded as pests.
Females, juveniles and non-breeding males are olive-brown. Just before breeding season the males moult into a scarlet-red plumage. The brightness of the breast plumage during breeding season is directly related to their body condition.