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Fun Fact #19

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].

Family: Coraciidae

Conservation Status: Least Concern [a stable population].

Food Status: Carnivore [arthropods, small critters and smaller birds.]

Weight: 110g

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?

Click here or here.

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

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