Habitat

A strong preference for evergreen forest is shown by four species of ground-rollers, which keep to the heavily shaded undergrowth or forest floor. Occurring only in a narrow coastal strip of arid southwestern Madagascar, the long-tailed ground-roller prefers low, fairly dense deciduous woodland with a sparse groundcover on sandy soil.

Although occurring at high altitudes when crossing major mountain ranges during migration, true rollers are lowland birds, frequenting habitats that vary from tropical or subtropical woodland to most types of open country, including grassy hillsides with scattered trees, plains, scrublands, cultivated fields, and urban parks or gardens. In West Africa, the blue-

bellied roller is very much an inhabitant of Isoberlinia woodlands, and the racket-tailed roller (Coracias spatulata) from southern Africa shows a preference for woodlands in which Brachystegia, Colophospermum, or Baikaea trees dominate. Other species appear to exhibit no marked habitat preferences.

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