Vanga curvirostris


The vangas are a group of little-known small to medium-sized passerine birds restricted to Madagascar. Their relationship with other passerine groups is uncertain, but they seem most closely related to several other enigmatic African groups, such as helmetshrikes (Fuchs et al., 2004). Several of these species (including Van Dam's, Rufous and Sickle-billed) can be found in the Madagascar dry deciduous forests.

They are usually shrike-like, arboreal forest birds, feeding on reptiles, frogs and insects (but see below). Vangas' stick nests are built in trees. They do not migrate.

Species list

Though vangas were traditionally believed to be a small family of generally shrike-like birds, recent research has revealed that several taxa most similar in appearance and habits (and formerly considered to be) flycatchers or Old World babblers are in fact vangas (Cibois et al. 1999, 2001; Yamagishi et al., 2001; Schulenberg, 2003).



  • Cibois, A.; Pasquet, E. & Schulenberg, T.S. (1999): Molecular systematics of the Malagasy babblers (Timaliidae) and Warblers (Sylviidae), based on cytochrome b and 16S rRNA sequences. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 13(3): 581-595. HTML abstract
  • Cibois, A.; Slikas, B.; Schulenberg, T.S. & Pasquet, E. (2001): An endemic radiation of Malagasy songbirds is revealed by mitochondrial DNA sequence data. Evolution 55(6): 1198-1206. PDF fulltext
  • Yamagishi, S.; Honda, M.; Eguchi, K. & Thorstrom, R. (2001): Extreme endemic radiation of the Malagasy Vangas (Aves: Passeriformes). J. Mol. Evol. 53(1): 39-46. HTML abstract
  • Schulenberg, T.S. (2003): The Radiations of Passerine Birds on Madagascar. In: Goodman, Steven M. & Benstead, Jonathan P. (eds.): The Natural History of Madagascar: 1130-1134. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-30306-3
  • Fuchs, J.; Bowie, R.C.K.; Fjeldsa, J. & Pasquet, E. (2004): Phylogenetic relationships of the African bush-shrikes and helmet-shrikes (Passeriformes: Malaconotidae). Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 33(2): 428-439. HTML abstract

External links

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