Longtailed groundroller

Uratelornis chimaera

SUBFAMILY

Brachypteraciinae

TAXONOMY

Uratelornis chimaera Rothschild, 1895, Madagascar. Monotypic. OTHER COMMON NAMES

French: Brachyptérolle a longue queue; German: Langschwanz-erdracke; Spanish: Carraca-Terrestre Colilarga.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

18 in (46 cm) including tail. Sandy-brown upperparts with dark brown streaks; white underparts; and light blue outer wing feathers.

DISTRIBUTION

Southwestern Madagascar.

HABITAT

Dry Didierea woodland on sandy soil up to 330 ft (100 m). BEHAVIOR

Terrestrial; inconspicuous, mottled plumage blending with leaf litter in shade. Pairs or family parties when breeding, singly at other times. Stands motionless awaiting prey, long tail held horizontal or cocked up. Calls from low branch, often at night.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Forages in leaf litter, taking terrestrial invertebrates.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Monogamous; breeds during summer monsoons; 3-4 white eggs laid in burrow excavated in sandy soil. Courtship features neck stretching and vertical spring up to perch; feeding of female by male. Pair always near nest, but nesting behavior not known.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Vulnerable in very restricted range.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS Birds and eggs taken for food. ‚ô¶

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