The Lilac Breasted Roller is a bird with a plumage that would make Rarity proud.
Name: Lilac Breasted Roller [Coracias Caudatus]
Animal Status: Bird
Location: widely distributed in Sub-saharan Africa and vagrantly in the South Arabian Peninsula [Open woodlands and savannas].
Conservation Status: Least Concern [a stable population].
Food Status: Carnivore [arthropods, small critters and smaller birds.]
Length and wingspan: 30 to 38 cm with a wingspan of 50 to 58 cm.
These colourful birds have a stunning mating dance that includes aerial acrobatics [like swooping and diving.] and some vocals. Interestingly, unlike their feathers, their singing isn't pretty.
Let's look at some fun facts, shall we?
The Lilac Breasted Rollers get their name from their impressive courtship display, where the males rise in flight and come swooping down in a series of dives uttering a harsh cry the whole time.
They are monogamous like swans and wolves meaning they have mates for life! Awww.
Despite their pretty appearance, they are fierce. These birds are aggressive towards their prey where when picking up larger prey, they fly off to a tree to beat their dinner senseless.
They are ambush predators, waiting stealthily for the right moment to strike.
They are considered Kenya's national bird.
Part of a bigger and more widespread family called the Roller birds, the Lilac Breasted Roller was given its scientific name by a Swedish Scientist, Carl Linnaeus. Want to learn more about the Lilac Breasted Roller?
Question of the Day: What kind of roller species lives in your area?
Thank you for reading! As always, Stay blessed and curious!
image credits: Sedona Arts Centre
cover image: Max Waugh
video credits: Jacob Slaughter