Blue Vanga (Cyanolanius madagascarinus)


The Blue Vanga (Cyanolanius madagascarinus) is a bird species in the family Vangidae. It is in the monotypic genus Cyanolanius.[citation needed] The taxon comorensis, by most authorities considered a subspecies of the Blue Vanga, has occasionally been considered a separate species, the Comoro Blue Vanga (Cyanolanius comorensis). It is found in Comoros, Madagascar, and Mayotte. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forests and subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests.

Their relationship with other passerine groups is uncertain, but they seem closely related to some enigmatic African groups: the helmetshrikes (Prionops) and the shrike-flycatchers (Bias and Megabyas). They also appear to be close to some Asian groups: the woodshrikes (Tephrodornis), flycatcher-shrikes (Hemipus) and philentomas.

Though vangas were traditionally believed to be a small family of generally shrike-like birds, recent research suggests that several Madagascan taxa most similar in appearance and habits (and formerly considered to be) Old World warblers, Old World flycatchers or Old World babblers may be vangas. Yamagishi et al. found in 2001 that Newtonia appeared to belong with the vangas rather than the warblers and also that Tylas was a vanga and not a bulbul. It also appears that Ward’s Flycatcher andCrossley’s Babbler belong with the vangas.

Their diet can include insects, earthworms, millipedes, lizards and amphibians. The Blue Vanga and Chabert’s Vanga occasionally eat fruit. Many species feed in small groups, often in mixed-species foraging flocks. The Hook-billed Vanga and Lafresnaye’s Vanga tend to forage alone. Vangas have a variety of different foraging strategies. Many species glean food as they move through the branches. The Nuthatch Vanga climbs up trunks and branches like a nuthatch but does not climb downwards as nuthatches do. Crossley’s Babbler forages by walking along the forest floor amongst the leaf litter. Chabert’s Vanga and the Tylas Vanga often fly into the air to catch prey. The three Xenopirostris vangas use their laterally flattened bills to strip bark off trees to search for food underneath.

Most species nest in pairs, building cup-shaped nests using twigs, bark, roots and leaves. The Sickle-billed Vanga nests in groups and builds a large nest of sticks.


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Blue Vanga (Cyanolanius madagascarinus)

Blue Vanga (Cyanolanius madagascarinus)

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