Rufous-headed Ground roller

Madagascar is a big island in the Indian Ocean. Madagascar is famous for its unique fauna and flora. Do you know that it is a great place to spot birds? In fact, about 283 bird species can be found in the forests of Madagascar, with approximately 40 endemic species. Among the most amazing birds, you shouldn’t miss the rufous-headed ground roller.

The rufous-headed ground roller is an endemic bird to Madagascar. It is known as Atelornis crossleyi.

Scientists have identified five rufous-headed ground roller species, endemic to Madagascar.
Its name derives from its dominant color. The word “rufous” indicates a reddish-brown color, as of rust.
The male and female birds are similar in color, with rust-colored heads and breasts, with black and white stripes on the throat. The wings are olive green on both sides, giving the bird an attractive appearance. The tail is dark, just like its beak and legs, which are gray.
Four species of the rufous-headed ground roller inhabit evergreen rainforest areas of Madagascar, especially in the central highland and in the Eastern parts of the island. 

Most species of rufous-headed ground roller inhabit rainforests, unlike the other species that live in the arid southwestern part of Madagascar. The southwestern region is characterized by spiny bushes.

The rufous-headed ground roller is characterized by its elusive behavior, which makes it difficult to spot unless accompanied by a guide.
The rufous-headed ground roller is near threatened and its population is declining in number. Local people prey on the birds for food. Also, the practice of “tavy” or slash-and-burn agriculture destroys their habitats.
The rufous-headed ground roller is a terrestrial bird. Therefore, it preys on inland insects, especially ants, cockroaches, larvae, caterpillars, and butterflies.
It nests in burrows of approximately 40 cm long and 20 cm wide. The breeding season is from December to January.
If you want to learn more about this bird species, why don’t you go on a birding expedition in Madagascar? There’s a lot to discover on a bird safari trip.

Safari-Madagascar is a travel agency that organizes tours for bird lovers. The Rufous-headed Ground roller is among the rarest bird species that can be spotted in Madagascar’s rainforests. The best time to go bird-watching is from August to December. There are birding tours tailored to suit your needs, whether you opt for a 13-day rainforest birding tour, or a 16-day birding expedition.

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