MADAGASCAR   -   OCT-NOV 2010   -   BIRDS PART 3

Ground-rollers to vangas


Short-legged Ground-Roller - Brachypteracias leptosomus
Short-legged Ground-Roller
Brachypteracias leptosomus
Andasibe-Mantadia NP, Atsinanana region, Madagascar.
The ground-rollers were my favorite birds in Madagasar. Most of them are highly terrestrial, but this one is the exception. It bears an obvious resemblance, both in appearance and behavior, to the Neotropical puffbirds (Bucconidae). (S6)


Pitta-like Ground-Roller - Atelornis pittoides
Pitta-like Ground-Roller
Atelornis pittoides
Ranomafana NP, Vatovavy-Fitovinany Region, Madagascar.
I thought this was the most beautiful bird in all of Madagascar. It seemed to glow in the dark understory of the rainforest. Despite being terrestrial, they were usually easy to see and quite approachable. (S6f)


Rufous-headed Ground-Roller - Atelornis crossleyi
Rufous-headed Ground-Roller
Atelornis crossleyi
Mananara Lodge, Anjozorobe, Analamanga region, Madagascar.
Another spectacular bird, and a close second for me behind Pitta-like. It might be my favorite photo of the tour. Both Atelornis are found in montane rainforest, often sympatric, though Rufous-headed seems to prefer slightly higher elevations. (S6f)


Long-tailed Ground-Roller - Uratelornis chimaera
Long-tailed Ground-Roller
Uratelornis chimaera
Ifaty, Atsimo-Andrefana region, Madagascar.
Some would argue this is the best of the ground-rollers. It's a tough call as this truly is an amazing bird. It's the only ground-roller that lives in dry forest, and it is restricted to a very narrow strip of spiny forest in the Southwest. (S6)


Cuckoo-Roller - Leptosomus discolor
Cuckoo-Roller
Leptosomus discolor discolor
Mananara Lodge, Anjozorobe, Analamanga region, Madagascar.
Male. A monotypic family endemic to the west Indian Ocean islands. They're big birds with large heads, best known for their rolling flight displays during the breeding season, giving a fantastic far-carrying whistling song while they do it. (S6)


Cuckoo-Roller - Leptosomus discolor
Cuckoo-Roller
Leptosomus discolor discolor
Zombitse NP, Atsimo-Andrefana region, Madagascar.
Female. (S6)


Cuckoo-Roller - Leptosomus discolor
Cuckoo-Roller
Leptosomus discolor discolor
Ankarafantsika NP, Boeny region, Madagascar.
Female. (D6)


Madagascar Hoopoe - Upupa marginata
Madagascar Hoopoe
Upupa marginata
Ankarafantsika NP, Boeny region, Madagascar.
Very similar to the Eurasian Hoope U. epops, and often lumped with it. Apparently there are some notable differences in vocalizations. (S6)


Velvet Asity - Philepitta castanea Velvet Asity - Philepitta castanea
Velvet Asity
Philepitta castanea
Ranomafana NP, Vatovavy-Fitovinany Region, Madagascar.
Male. The asities are another beautiful and endemic family to Madagascar, one of the many reasons to visit. This beauty of this bird is impossible to catch in a photo, especially a mediocre one like this. (S6)
Velvet Asity
Philepitta castanea
Mananara Lodge, Anjozorobe, Analamanga region, Madagascar.
Female. (S6)


Schlegel's Asity - Philepitta schlegeli
Schlegel's Asity
Philepitta schlegeli
Ankarafantsika NP, Boeny region, Madagascar.
Male. It's a terrible photo but I decided to display it anyway. It might look like a dull bird at first, until you get a look at the brilliant green and blue bare skin around the face, which can be shocking in the otherwise drab surroundings of the deciduous forest it lives in. (P6)


Dark Newtonia - Newtonia amphichroa
Dark Newtonia
Newtonia amphichroa
Mananara Lodge, Anjozorobe, Analamanga region, Madagascar.
The newtonias were formerly places in the Old World Warblers (Sylviidae), but recent genetic studies suggest it is better placed with the vangas (Vangidae). This is one of my trip favorites as it was such a rare photo opportunity. The fledgling was unafraid and approachable, so I cleared away a few small branches and waited for the adult to come in. i never could have guessed the identity of the fledgling if the adult hadn't come in to feed it. (S6f)


Dark Newtonia - Newtonia amphichroa
Dark Newtonia
Newtonia amphichroa
Mananara Lodge, Anjozorobe, Analamanga region, Madagascar.
A different shot of the adult in the previous photo. (S6)


Common Newtonia - Newtonia brunneicauda
Common Newtonia
Newtonia brunneicauda brunneicauda
Ankarafantsika NP, Boeny region, Madagascar.
As its name suggests, it is the most common and widespread newtonia, found in wooded areas anywhere in Madagasar. (S6)


Archbold's Newtonia - Newtonia archboldi
Archbold's Newtonia
Newtonia archboldi
Ifaty, Atsimo-Andrefana region, Madagascar.
This newtonia is restricted to the dry spiny forests of the Southwest. The on the forehead and around the eye is distinctive. (S6)


Chabert Vanga - Leptopterus chabert
Chabert Vanga
Leptopterus chabert schistocercus
Ifaty, Atsimo-Andrefana region, Madagascar.
Now we've reached my second favorite group of birds in Madagascar, the "true" vangas. They are nearly endemic, but one species occurs in the Comoros. Chabert is one of the most common, but a very sharp-looking bird. This bird is of the southwestern subspecies, which has some white in the outer tail feathers, which is visible in the photo. (S6)


Blue Vanga - Cyanolanius madagascarinus
Blue Vanga
Cyanolanius madagascarinus madagascarinus
Zombitse NP, Atsimo-Andrefana region, Madagascar.
Male. A truly gorgeous bird and another one of my favorites. It's quite common and widespread in forested areas, but you can tire of seeing them. This is the only vanga species not endemic to Madagascar; it also occurs in the Comoros.  (S6)


Blue Vanga - Cyanolanius madagascarinus
Blue Vanga
Cyanolanius madagascarinus madagascarinus
Ankarafantsika NP, Boeny region, Madagascar.
Female. Quite a bit duller than the male, but still pretty. (S6)


Red-tailed Vanga - Calicalicus madagascariensis
Red-tailed Vanga
Calicalicus madagascariensis
Mananara Lodge, Anjozorobe, Analamanga region, Madagascar.
Male. An attractive, almost tit-like bird that is quite common in the rainforests of the East. There is conflicting evidence as to whether it actually belongs in the Vanga family. (S6f)


Red-shouldered Vanga - Calicalicus rufocarpalis
Red-shouldered Vanga
Calicalicus rufocarpalis
La Table, Atsimo-Andrefana region, Madagascar.
Female. A species only described in 1997, and highly restricted to a dense brushland habitat in SW Madagacar called "coral rag scrub". The male is similar to the previous species, but has a yellow iris and chestnut also on the greater coverts. (S6)


Hook-billed Vanga - Vanga curvirostris
Hook-billed Vanga
Vanga curvirostris curvirostris
Ankarafantsika NP, Boeny region, Madagascar.
A very handsome bird! They are fairly widespread in Madagascar, but often hard to see well. However, in the forest station at this national park, a very confiding pair was conspicuously building a nest in the crotch of a tree about 5 meters off the ground. (S6)


Helmet Vanga - Euryceros prevostii
Helmet Vanga
Euryceros prevostii
Masoala NP, Analanjirofo region, Madagascar.
This is one of the headline birds of Madagascar, and was my favorite after some of the ground-rollers. It's a truly striking combination of colors. They are quite rare outside of the still highly forested Masoala Peninsula, where this photo was taken. (S6f)


Rufous Vanga - Schetba rufa
Rufous Vanga
Schetba rufa (ssp?)
Ankarafantsika NP, Boeny region, Madagascar.
Male. Another handsome vanga! (S6)


Rufous Vanga - Schetba rufa
Rufous Vanga
Schetba rufa rufa
Masoala NP, Analanjirofo region, Madagascar.
Female. She lacks black on the throat and breast. (S6f)


Sickle-billed Vanga - Falculea palliata
Sickle-billed Vanga
Falculea palliata
Ankarafantsika NP, Boeny region, Madagascar.
Another trip favorite. These big, noisy, and inquisitive birds were very fun to watch. (S6)


Bernier's Vanga - Oriolia bernieri Bernier's Vanga - Oriolia bernieri
Bernier's Vanga
Oriolia bernieri
Masoala NP, Analanjirofo region, Madagascar.
Female. This is probably the rarest vanga, and a very strange one. It's in a monotypic genus, with a degree of sexual diorphism not seen in any other vanga species. (S6f)
Bernier's Vanga
Oriolia bernieri
Masoala NP, Analanjirofo region, Madagascar.
Male. (S6f)


White-headed Vanga - Artamella viridis
White-headed Vanga
Artamella viridis annae
Ankarafantsika NP, Boeny region, Madagascar.
Female. A scarce but fairly widespread vanga. The male is very similar but brighter white. (S6)


Lafresnaye's Vanga - Xenopirostris xenopirostris
Lafresnaye's Vanga
Xenopirostris xenopirostris
Ifaty, Atsimo-Andrefana region, Madagascar.
Female. Endemic to the dry spiny forests of SW Madagascar. (S6)


Crossley's Babbler - Mystacornis crossleyi
Crossley's Babbler
Mystacornis crossleyi
Ranomafana NP, Vatovavy-Fitovinany Region, Madagascar.
A very strange terrestrial passerine of uncertain affinities. It was formerly considered a babbler (Timaliidae), but is now placed tentatively with the vangas. (S6)














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