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Nuthatch-Vanga is one of the most distinctive birds on Madagascar. As its English name implies, its small size, body shape - chunky, with a short bill and tail - and tree-creeping foraging behavior all are superficially similar to that of nuthatches Sittidae, although Nuthatch-Vanga only ascends trunks and branches; it does not descend, as do true nuthatches. These characteristics of Nuthatch-Vanga contributed to some confusion over how to classify Hyposittta, although its position among vangas now is well established. It typically forages in pairs which associate with mixed species flocks. The bill is bright red or orange-red. The male is almost entirely grayish blue, with a narrow black forecrown; the female has no black on the head, is a duller blue on the upperparts, and is dull buff on the crown, nape, and underparts. Nuthatch-Vanga occurs throughout eastern Madagascar in humid evergreen forest, and is fairly common. Nonetheless it is one of the least known species of vanga; in particular, very few nests have been reported.