Blue Vanga Cyanolanius madagascarinus

Guy M. Kirwan, Satoshi Yamagishi, Josep del Hoyo, Nigel Collar, and Masahiko Nakamura
Version: 1.0 — Published March 4, 2020

Diet and Foraging

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Diet and Foraging

Most data from Madagascar.


Main Foods Taken

Insects, including beetles (Coleoptera), Orthoptera, cicadas (Hemiptera), also caterpillars, as well as spiders (Araneae); occasionally berries (19, 13, 3, 20).

Microhabitat for Foraging

Forages in middle and upper levels of trees (1).

Food Capture and Consumption

Often feeds while hanging from its feet, upside-down, in leaf clusters near ends of thin branches (13); uses toes to open dry dead leaves (13). Gleans items from substrate (67–78% of all foraging observations at two sites) (21); also sally-gleans (15–30 cm) to branches and leaves, from which it hangs and gleans (1). In Madagascar, forages in groups of up to six individuals in non-breeding season (usually in pairs when nesting) (13); commonly (87% and 87.5% of observations, respectively, in two studies) (15, 22) in mixed-species flocks with other vangas and with, e.g., Common Newtonia (Newtonia brunneicauda), Madagascar White-eye (Zosterops maderaspatanus), Madagascar Cuckooshrike (Ceblepyris cinereus), Madagascar Paradise-Flycatcher (Terpsiphone mutata), and Long-billed Sunbird (Cinnyris notatus), and other small passerines, but in another study observed in just 33% of mixed-species flocks (14). On Grand Comoro (race C. m. bensoni), observed in company with Madagascar Cuckooshrike and Madagascar Paradise-Flycatcher.


Quantitative Analysis

Stomach contents of birds on Mohéli (C. m. comorensis) mostly insects, especially caterpillars (up to 5 cm long), but also included spiders (Araneae), and some fruits (18).

Recommended Citation

Kirwan, G. M., S. Yamagishi, J. del Hoyo, N. Collar, and M. Nakamura (2020). Blue Vanga (Cyanolanius madagascarinus), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (S. M. Billerman, B. K. Keeney, P. G. Rodewald, and T. S. Schulenberg, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.bluvan1.01