Head and body length, 28-31 cm; tail, 11 cm; wingspan, 30-33 cm
approx, 97 g
Estimated at 10,000-19,000
Humid lowland evergreen rainforests of northeastern Madagascar
Meet a Madagascan mystery little is known about the helmet vanga, a bird that has managed to maintain a low profile despite a conspicuously large and bold blue beak. It passes its days in the middle of stratum of the rainforest, often mingling with mixed flocks including other species of vanga. The sole member of its genus, it keeps to a narrow range rich in the insects and other invertebrates that sustain it. One thing that is known about the helmet vanga is that it cannot survive outside primary rainforests. So it is no mystery why populations are in peril as Madagascar's forests fall prey to the demands of agriculture and timber extraction.