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Purple Roller


Purple Roller [Coracias naevia]


The Purple Roller is a medium sized bird that stands at 40cm and weighs in at 160g. Both the male and female birds are the same colour, unlike many bird species where there is sexual dimorphism. They have a darker feather colour and have a stocky body. When they are viewed in a low light and from a distance, the look like they have a dark and brownish in appearance. When viewed up close, you will notice the colour of the Purple Roller is mainly a light pink-brown colour, with green and purple colouration on its wings. They have a pale brown underside and their flight wings are a beautiful dark blue-black colour


Purple Rollers are, like many other smaller birds, have a diet that consists of locusts, insects, scorpions, mice, and sometimes younger birds.


The Purple Roller is a very territorial bird that is very solitary in breeding. They start nesting from around October and June and reuse the same nest over many years. The Eggs are rounded and are pure white and glossy.


The territorial and somewhat hostile nature of the Purple Roller causes them to chase away any rollers, crows, and small birds. These birds can be found on their own or in pairs, with the partners perched up to a hundred meters away from each other. Unlike other rollers who are rather vocal and unique, the Purple Roller is a rather quiet bird species.


Purple Rollers prefer open woodlands and bushveld, needing large trees for their breeding. They prefer low laying hot ground and are endemic to Africa and are widely spread throughout South Africa in well wooded areas.

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