Family Ground-rollers (Brachypteraciidae)


Long-tailed Ground-roller (Uratelornis chimaera)


French: Brachyptérolle à longue queue German: Langschwanz-Erdracke Spanish: Carraca terrestre colilarga

Uratelornis chimaera


, 1895,





SW Madagascar in Mikea Forest#R area bounded by R Mangoky in N, R Fiherenana in S and inland hills in E; recorded up to 60 km from coast#R.

Descriptive notes

34–47 cm (including long tail, of up to 28·5 cm). Highly distinctive, long-tailed, long-legged ground-roller. Male has sandy-buff crown and upperparts with dark... read more


Territorial call (given apparently only by male) an even-paced series of 8–9 (range 3–... read more


Sub-arid thorn-scrub and higher-stature deciduous woodland (8–12 m tall) dominated by cactus-... read more

Food and feeding

Invertebrates, such as ants, beetles, butterflies, caterpillars, cockroaches (reportedly a favoured prey), grasshoppers, woodlice, and... read more


Season Oct–Jan (especially Nov–Dec), from start of rainy season, with pairs typically forming Oct–Nov; almost fully grown... read more


Generally sedentary; appeared to occur seasonally in one area, being generally absent in May–... read more

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Overall population estimated at 9487–32,687 mature individuals within a range of 10,500 km2, although habitat available to species might be just 3,706 km2.... read more

Recommended citation

Langrand, O. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Long-tailed Ground-roller (Uratelornis chimaera). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 20 January 2019).