Thursday 23 May
Red-shouldered vanga (Calicalicus rufocarpalis)
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Red-shouldered vanga fact file
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Red-shouldered vanga description
This small bird was first described to science as recently as 1997 (1). It is named for the brick-red feathers on the ‘shoulders’, which contrast with the grey back and dark grey wings. The underparts have whitish plumage, with a wash of chestnut over the breast and flanks (2). A black patch sits like a bib at the top of the breast and extends up over the sides of the neck, contrasting with the white face. Female red-shouldered vangas differ slightly from this description, having olive-grey-brown upperparts, a whitish throat, and buff to whitish underparts. The eyes are pale lemon yellow, the bill is black and the legs and feet are pinkish-grey (2). Vangas generally have an elaborate and melodic vocal repertoire (3); this species song is a loud ‘tyu-tee’ (4).
- Length: 14 – 15 cm (2)
Red-shouldered vanga biology
Often found in small groups, the red-shouldered vanga searches for food in low, dense bushes, two to three metres off the ground, where it plucks its small insect prey from leaves and branches (2) (4). Vangas generally build deep, bowl-shaped nests (3).Top
Red-shouldered vanga rangeTop
Red-shouldered vanga habitatTop
Red-shouldered vanga status
Classified as Vulnerable (VU) by the IUCN Red List 2007 (1).Top
Red-shouldered vanga threats
While in some areas the habitat of the red-shouldered vanga is being degraded by goat grazing, shrub clearance for charcoal, and timber extraction, the majority of the habitat remains intact as the soil is unsuitable for agriculture. However, as the red-shouldered vanga is known only from a small area, its status could deteriorate rapidly should this situation change (4).Top
Red-shouldered vanga conservation
The red-shouldered vanga occurs within one protected area: the Tsimanampetsotsa Strict Reserve. Another region within its range has been identified as a site of special biodiversity interest and warrants formal protection (4). This protection, along with further research into the species, has been recommended by BirdLife International to ensure this species’ conservation status does not worsen (4).Top
Find out more
For further information on the red-shouldered vanga see:
This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:
- A species or taxonomic group that is only found in one particular country or geographic area.
IUCN Red List (September, 2007)
- Morris, P. and Hawkins, F. (1998) Birds of Madagascar. A Photographic Guide. Pica Press, East Sussex.
- Langrand, O. (1990) Guide to the Birds of Madagascar. Yale University Press, New Haven and London.
BirdLife International (May, 2008)
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