Zazamalala: a paradise for Vanga song birds

Of the 14 Vanga species, 7 have been observed at Zazamalala. The popularity of Zazamalala among these song birds is not undisputed. On the positive side, these birds prefer undisturbed forests, which supports the quality of the Zazamalala forest. On the negative side, several vangas, especially Hook-billed vanga and Sickle-billed vanga, feed on chameleons and Phelsuma day geckos, which are among our favorite animals.

Vangas are (with one exception, the Blue vanga also occurs on the Cormoro islands ) restricted to Madagascar. They are most often found in tall trees and many are difficult to spot. Look for fairly large birds with a prominent often pink to red bill. Males and females of most species have a different plumage, which makes determination difficult. Most common is the Sickle-billed vanga, which lives in noisy flocks with a characteristic crying baby-like sound. Red-tailed vanga, Tylas vanga and Chabert’s vanga are often seen at Zazamalala, but Rufous and blue vanga have only once or twice been spotted.

It’s rainy season now at Zazamalala and we plant thousands of endemic trees to make more habitat for animals and birds.

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