Lilac Breasted Roller [Coracias caudata]
The Lilac Breasted Roller is a very colourful bird and may be the most colourful in the Kruger Park. The main colour of this bird is a combination of different colours. Its chest is a light blue, its neck is a salmon pink, its back is brown, its head is green and its face is red and white. Its tail feathers and wing undersides are a bright blue colour that is very eye catching.
The Lilac Breasted Roller feeds on small insects, crabs, lizards and small amphibians. They catch their prey while on the ground.
The nests of this bird are located within holes of trees or in termite hills. Sometimes, when no other option is available, they will use kingfishers and woodpecker nest holes. They can lay up to 4 eggs that are incubated by both sexes.
Rollers receive their name from their amazing acrobatic moves they attempt during the mating rituals. They perform shallow dives and perform plenty of rolls. They are highly territorial birds and appear monogamous. The Roller will often sit on a branch of a dead tree scowering the area for prey. An interesting fact of the Roller is the face that they can mate on the wing.
Lilac Breasted Rollers can be found all throughout the eastern and southern regions of South Africa. They inhabit areas that are rich in Acacia trees that are well spaced.