European Roller (Coracias garrulus) - African Wildlife and Nature Photographs

European Roller

Family: Coraciidae

Genus: Coracias

The European Roller is a summer visitor to South and Southern Africa arriving in the Southern hemisphere from its breeding grounds in Europe around November each year and staying until March/April of the following year. Thus here in the Southern hemisphere we call this a non breeding ‘migrant bird’ an Afro-Palearctic Migrant which is part of the big South African Bird Migration which happens annually with birds arriving from Europe, North Africa and as far East as China.

The European Roller is quite easily identified, its 31 cm (12.5 in) long, a medium sized bird with a blue head and square tail (no tail streamers like the Lilac breasted Roller) their is also a distinct demarcation between the blue nape and its brown mantle, all in all a very stocky bird. As many of the Rollers the European Roller is found singly or in pairs in woodland, perching on open branches and power lines, but tends to favor the more arid area’s. It feeds mainly on grasshoppers and other similar insects and the occasional small snake and frog.

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