The Vangidae family (from vanga, Malagasy for the hook-billed vanga, Vanga curvirostris) comprises a group of often shrike-like medium-sized birds distributed from Asia to Africa, including the vangas of Madagascar to which the family owes its name. Many species in this family were previously classified elsewhere in other families. Recent molecular techniques made it possible to assign these species to Vangidae, thereby solving several taxonomic enigmas.
|White-headed vanga (Artamella viridis)|
Vangidae belongs to a clade of corvid birds that also includes bushshrikes (Malaconotidae), ioras (Aegithinidae) and the Australian butcherbirds, magpies and currawongs (Cracticidae) and woodswallows (Artamidae), which has been defined as the superfamily Malaconotoidea. They seem closely related to some enigmatic African groups: the helmetshrikes (Prionops) and the shrike-flycatchers (Bias and Megabyas).
On Madagascar, vangas were traditionally believed to be a small family of shrike-like birds. Recent research suggests that several Madagascan taxa most similar in appearance and habits (and formerly considered to be) Old World warblers, Old World flycatchers or Old World babblers may be vangas. Yamagishi et al. found in 2001 that Newtonia appeared to belong with the vangas rather than the warblers and also that Tylas was a vanga and not a bulbul. It also appears that Ward's flycatcher and Crossley's babbler belong with the vangas.
The vangas are an example of adaptive radiation, having evolved from a single founding population into a variety of forms adapted to various niches occupied by other bird families in other parts of the world. They differ in size, colour and bill shape but are similar in skull shape and bony palate structure. They are small to medium-sized birds, varying from 12 to 32 cm in length. Many have strong, hooked bills similar to those of shrikes. The helmet vanga has a particularly large bill with a casque on top. Other species, such as the newtonias, have a small, thin bill. The sickle-billed vanga is notable for its long, curved bill used to probe into holes and cracks.
Most vangas are largely black, brown or grey above and white below. Exceptions include the blue and white blue vanga and the blue-grey nuthatch vanga. The helmet vanga is mostly black with a rufous back. Male Bernier's vangas are entirely black while the females are brown. It is one of several species with distinct male and female plumage while in other species the sexes are identical.
Most vangas have whistling calls.
All vangas are endemic to Madagascar apart from the blue vanga, which also occurs in the Comoros on Mohéli island and, at least formerly, on Grande Comore. They are found throughout Madagascar, in a variety of forest and scrub habitats. Several species including Van Dam's vanga and sickle-billed vanga can be found in the dry deciduous forests in the west of the island. Some such as Crossley's babbler, helmet vanga and Bernier's vanga are restricted to rainforest in the east of the island. Lafresnaye's vanga and the recently discovered red-shouldered vanga occur in subarid thorn scrub in the south-west.
Their diet can include insects, earthworms, millipedes, lizards and amphibians. The blue vanga and chabert vanga occasionally eat fruit. Many species feed in small groups, often in mixed-species foraging flocks. The hook-billed vanga and Lafresnaye's vanga tend to forage alone. Vangas have a variety of different foraging strategies. Many species glean food as they move through the branches. The nuthatch vanga climbs up trunks and branches like a nuthatch but does not climb downwards as nuthatches do. Crossley's babbler forages by walking along the forest floor amongst the leaf litter. The chabert vanga and the tylas vanga often fly into the air to catch prey. The three Xenopirostris vangas use their laterally flattened bills to strip bark off trees to search for food underneath.
Most species nest in pairs, building cup-shaped nests using twigs, bark, roots and leaves. The sickle-billed vanga nests in groups and builds a large nest of sticks.
Some species of vanga are common such as the chabert vanga which can survive in secondary woodland and plantations of introduced trees. Several other species are threatened by loss of their forest habitat. Pollen's vanga is classed as near-threatened by BirdLife International and the red-shouldered vanga, Bernier's vanga, helmet vanga and red-tailed newtonia are regarded as vulnerable. Van Dam's vanga is classed as endangered because it is restricted to a small area of north-west Madagascar where the forest is rapidly disappearing due to clearance for agriculture and uncontrolled bushfires.
Arjun Reddy is a 2017 Indian Telugu-language romantic drama film written and directed by Sandeep Vanga, and produced by his brother Pranay Reddy Vanga's company Bhadrakali Pictures. It stars Vijay Deverakonda and Shalini Pandey in the lead roles, and Rahul Ramakrishna, Jia Sharma, Sanjay Swaroop, Gopinath Bhat, Kamal Kamaraju and Kanchana in supporting roles. The film tells the story of Arjun Reddy Deshmukh (Deverakonda), a high-functioning alcoholic surgeon who has anger management problems. Arjun is on a self-destructive path after the marriage of his girlfriend Preethi Shetty (Pandey); the film focuses on his downfall and subsequent resurgence.
Arjun Reddy was partially inspired by Vanga's life as a physiotherapy student. He worked on the script for two years and it took four to five years for the film to materialise. Principal photography commenced on 20 June 2016 at Hyderabad and took 86 working days to complete. Other filming locations include Mangalore, Dehradun and New Delhi, filming also took place in Italy. Radhan and Harshvardhan Rameshwar composed the soundtrack and score, respectively. Raj Thota was director of photography and Shashank Mali edited the film.
The film was made on a budget of ₹40—51.5 million; it was released worldwide on 25 August 2017 after receiving an 'A' (adult) certification from India's Central Board of Film Certification. Post-release, the film received positive reviews for its direction, writing, cinematography and the cast's performances—especially that of Deverakonda. It drew criticism for allegedly promoting substance abuse among young people and for its romantic scenes. The film was a box office success, grossing ₹510 million globally, with a distributor share of ₹260 million. It went on to receive six nominations at the 65th Filmfare Awards South, including Best Telugu Film, Best Telugu Director for Sandeep Vanga and Best Telugu Actor for Deverakonda, the film's only win at the ceremony. It was remade in Hindi as Kabir Singh (2019), and is being remade in Tamil as Adithya Varma.Baba Vanga
Grandmother Vanga (Bulgarian: баба Ванга; 31 January 1911 – 11 August 1996), born Vangeliya Pandeva Dimitrova (Вангелия Пандева Димитрова), known after her marriage as Vangelia Gushterova (Вангелия Гущерова), was a blind Bulgarian mystic, clairvoyant, and herbalist, who spent most of her life in the Rupite area in the Kozhuh mountains in Bulgaria. Zheni Kostadinova claimed in 1997 that millions of people believed she possessed paranormal abilities.Bernier's vanga
The Bernier's vanga (Oriolia bernieri) is a bird species in the family Vangidae. It is in the monotypic genus Oriolia. It is endemic to Madagascar. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests. It is threatened by habitat loss.Black-crested bulbul
The black-crested bulbul (Pycnonotus flaviventris) is a member of the bulbul family of passerine birds. It is found from the Indian subcontinent to southeast Asia.Blue vanga
The blue vanga (Cyanolanius madagascarinus) is a bird species in the family Vangidae. It is in the monotypic genus Cyanolanius. It is found in Comoros, Madagascar, and Mayotte, where its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forest and subtropical or tropical moist lowland forest.A taxon found on the Comoros Islands, the Comoro blue vanga is considered by most authorities to be a subspecies of the blue vanga (C. m. comorensis), though it has occasionally been considered a separate species, Cyanolanius comorensis.
In 1760 the French zoologist Mathurin Jacques Brisson included a description of the blue vanga in his Ornithologie based on a specimen collected on the island of Madagascar. He used the French name Le pie-griesche bleu de Madagascar and the Latin Lanius Madagascariensis coeruleus. Although Brisson coined Latin names, these do not conform to the binomial system and are not recognised by the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature. When in 1766 the Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus updated his Systema Naturae for the twelfth edition, he added 240 species that had been previously described by Brisson. One of these was the blue vanga. Linnaeus included a brief description, coined the binomial name Loxia madagascarina and cited Brisson's work. The species is now placed in the genus Cyanolanius that was introduced by the French naturalist Charles Lucien Bonaparte in 1854.Three subspecies are recognised:
C. m. madagascarinus (Linnaeus, 1766) – Madagascar
C. m. comorensis (Shelley, 1894) – Mohéli in the Comoro Islands
C. m. bensoni Louette & Herremans, 1982 – Grande Comore in the Comoro IslandsChabert vanga
The chabert vanga (Leptopterus chabert), also erroneously called "Chabert's vanga", is a species of bird in the family Vangidae. It is monotypic within the genus Leptopterus. It is endemic to Madagascar. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forest, subtropical or tropical moist lowland forest, and subtropical or tropical moist montane forest. Its name comes from a rendition of its call.Chintaman Vanaga
Chintaman Vanaga was an Indian politician from Maharashtra and was a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party. He was member of 16th Lok Sabha elected from Palghar (Lok Sabha constituency).
He was an advocate by qualification from Mumbai University and served as the President of BJP's Thane district office from 1990 to 1996. He died on January 30, 2018 due to a heart attack.Crossley's vanga
Crossley's vanga (Mystacornis crossleyi), also known as Crossley's babbler-vanga, Crossley's babbler, or Madagascar groundjumper, is a bird species in the family Vangidae.Gauḍa (region)
Gauda (Bengali: গৌড়), was a territory located in Bengal in ancient and medieval times, as part of the Gauda Kingdom.Helmet vanga
The helmet vanga (Euryceros prevostii) is a distinctive-looking bird of the vanga family, Vangidae, and is classified in its own genus, Euryceros. It is mainly blue-black, with rufous wings and a huge arched blue bill. It is restricted to lowland and lower montane rainforests of northeastern Madagascar. Its diet is composed of invertebrates, predominantly insects. The species is threatened by habitat loss.Hook-billed vanga
The hook-billed vanga (Vanga curvirostris) is a species of bird in the family Vangidae. It is endemic to Madagascar. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forest, subtropical or tropical moist lowland forest, and subtropical or tropical moist montane forest.
In 1760 the French zoologist Mathurin Jacques Brisson included a description of the hook-billed vanga in his Ornithologie based on a specimen collected on the island of Madagascar. He used the French name L'écorcheur de Madagascar and the Latin Collurio Madagascariensis. Although Brisson coined Latin names, these do not conform to the binomial system and are not recognised by the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature. When in 1766 the Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus updated his Systema Naturae for the twelfth edition, he added 240 species that had been previously described by Brisson. One of these was the hook-billed vanga. Linnaeus included a brief description, coined the binomial name Lanius curvirostris and cited Brisson's work. It is now the only species placed in the genus Vanga that was introduced by the French ornithologist Louis Jean Pierre Vieillot in 1816. The specific name curvirostris is from Latin curvus "curved" and -rostrum "billed". The word "vanga" is the Malagasy name for the species. Two subspecies are recognised.A recent study on avian skull evolution has concluded that the ancestral neornithe had a beak most similar to this species. This suggests a similar ancestral ecological niche for modern birds.Outline of birds
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to birds:
Birds (class Aves) – winged, bipedal, endothermic (warm-blooded), egg-laying, vertebrate animals. There are around 10,000 living species, making them the most varied of tetrapod vertebrates. They inhabit ecosystems across the globe, from the Arctic to the Antarctic. Extant birds range in size from the 5 cm (2 in) bee hummingbird to the 2.75 m (9 ft) ostrich.Pollen's vanga
The Pollen's vanga (Xenopirostris polleni) is a species of bird in the family Vangidae. It is endemic to eastern Madagascar. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and subtropical or tropical moist montane forests. It is threatened by habitat loss.Rufous vanga
The rufous vanga (Schetba rufa) is a species of bird in the family Vangidae. It is monotypic within the genus Schetba. It is endemic to Madagascar, where its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forest and subtropical or tropical moist lowland forest.In 1760 the French zoologist Mathurin Jacques Brisson included a description of the rufous vanga in his Ornithologie based on a specimen collected on the island of Madagascar. He used the French name La pie-griesche rousse de Madagascar and the Latin Lanius Madagascariensis rufus. Although Brisson coined Latin names, these do not conform to the binomial system and are not recognised by the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature. When in 1766 the Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus updated his Systema Naturae for the twelfth edition, he added 240 species that had been previously described by Brisson. One of these was the rufous vanga. Linnaeus included a brief description, coined the binomial name Lanius rufus and cited Brisson's work. The rufous vanga is now the only species placed in the genus Schetba that was introduced by the French naturalist René Lesson in 1831.Two subspecies are recognised:
S. r. rufa (Linnaeus, 1766) – north and east Madagascar
S. r. occidentalis Delacour, 1931 – west MadagascarSandeep Vanga
Sandeep Reddy Vanga (born 22 December 1981) is an Indian director and screenwriter. He made his directorial debut with the critically acclaimed Telugu-language film Arjun Reddy. He also directed Kabir Singh, Hindi Remake of Arjun Reddy with Shahid Kapoor and Kiara Advani which was released on 21 June 2019.Sickle-billed vanga
The sickle-billed vanga (Falculea palliata) is a species of bird in the vanga family Vangidae. It is monotypic within the genus Falculea. It is endemic to Madagascar. Its natural habitats are tropical dry forests and tropical dry shrubland.Van Dam's vanga
The Van Dam's vanga (Xenopirostris damii) is a species of bird in the family Vangidae.
It is endemic to Madagascar.
Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical dry forests.
It is threatened by habitat loss.Vanga Kingdom
Vanga was an ancient kingdom and geopolitical division on the Ganges delta in the Indian subcontinent. The kingdom is one of the namesakes of the Bengal region. It was located in southern Bengal, with the core region including present-day southern West Bengal (India) and southwestern Bangladesh. Vanga features prominently in the epics and tales of ancient India as well as in the history of Sri Lanka.
Vanga was probably the center of the Gangaridai Empire mentioned by numerous Greco-Roman writers. Both Indian and Greco-Roman writers referred to the region's war elephants. In Indian history, Vanga is notable for its strong navy. There are numerous references to Vanga in the Hindu epic Mahabharata, which is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of India. The other epic, the Ramayana, mentions the kingdom as an ally of Ayodhya. According to Sinhalese chronicles, Vanga is the ancestral home of Prince Vijaya, who colonized and founded a kingdom in the island of Lanka.White-headed vanga
The white-headed vanga (Artamella viridis) is a species of bird in the family Vangidae. It is monotypic within the genus Artamella. It is endemic to Madagascar, where its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forest, subtropical or tropical moist lowland forest, and subtropical or tropical moist montane forest.