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Lilac-Breasted Roller Bird of Africa

Updated on September 15, 2017
Peggy W profile image

Learning about the fellow creatures that share the planet with us is always of interest to me.

So Colorful!

When I read about this spectacularly colored bird in our newspaper today I was amazed at its stunning plumage and had never heard anything or known anything about this bird located in Africa, so I thought that others might also enjoy information regarding it.

It is the national bird of Botswana and Kenya and its contrasting colors probably has photographers with cameras and birdwatchers with binoculars happily engaged when spotting it. I know that I would love being able to see such a magnificent multicolored bird flitting about in the wilds of nature. They range in eastern and southern parts of Africa.

Apparently it gets its "roller" name from its aerial antics during breeding season.

Lilac breasted roller bird
Lilac breasted roller bird | Source

Lilac-Breasted Roller Bird is the National Bird of both Botswana and Kenya.

A
Botswana, Africa:
Botswana

get directions

B
Kenya, Africa:
Kenya

get directions

The male bird flies high and then plunging back towards earth it rolls back and forth before finding a perch near the female he is courting. That is quite the courtship dance of sorts!

Like some other birds, these lilac-breasted rollers mate for life and both birds help incubate the eggs and help feed them after they are hatched. There are normally two to four eggs in the nests at one time. Nesting often takes place in abandoned termite mounds or even in holes made by woodpeckers.

They eat insects, snails, small lizards, mice and even small birds often swallowing them whole. Their size is about 14.5 inches in length.

Perching on trees and the upper parts of bushes in open grasslands is their preferred territory. They fiercely defend their territory from intruders which includes larger birds.

Lilac breasted Roller with Grasshopper on Acacia tree in Botswana
Lilac breasted Roller with Grasshopper on Acacia tree in Botswana | Source

Unlike most birds where the male has the more vivid coloration and the females are more drab in hue, both the male and female lilac-breasted rollers are equally endowed with these gorgeous pigmented feathers. The remarkable colors include white, pink, lilac, cinnamon, yellow, black and various shades of green and blue.

This YouTube video below shows this magnificent bird in flight.

See amazing photos of the Lilac-breasted roller in flight. So very beautiful!!!

Lilac-Breasted Roller

Were you aware that these Lilac-Breasted Roller birds mate for life?

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In this video below the balancing act on a windblown branch makes it look like this lilac-breasted roller bird is belly dancing!

Belly Dancing Lilac-Breasted Roller

In this video you can listen to some vocalizations of this beautifully hued lilac-breasted roller bird.

Query regarding this most beautiful bird...

Have you ever seen a Lilac-Breasted Roller bird in person?

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Lilac-breasted Roller (Coracias caudatus) Photos for your Enjoyment

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Lilac-breasted Roller (Coracias caudatus) photographed in Botswana.Lilac-breasted Roller in flightLilac-breasted RollerLilac-breasted RollerLilac-breasted RollerLilac-breasted Roller
Lilac-breasted Roller (Coracias caudatus) photographed in Botswana.
Lilac-breasted Roller (Coracias caudatus) photographed in Botswana. | Source
Lilac-breasted Roller in flight
Lilac-breasted Roller in flight | Source
Lilac-breasted Roller
Lilac-breasted Roller | Source
Lilac-breasted Roller
Lilac-breasted Roller | Source
Lilac-breasted Roller
Lilac-breasted Roller | Source
Lilac-breasted Roller
Lilac-breasted Roller | Source

Colorful Birds

Have you ever seen a more colorful bird?

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© 2016 Peggy Woods

Looking forward to your comments.

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    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      6 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Rajan,

      I agree with your assessment. This is certainly a brightly colored bird.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      6 weeks ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      It indeed is an extremely colorful bird and good looking too. Thanks for sharing.

    • ethel smith profile image

      Ethel Smith 

      2 months ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Yes it is Peggy. After I commented I looked again and it was only really one image

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      2 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Ethel,

      It probably has its feathers fluffed up in some of these bird photos. I do think that this type of bird is a beauty with all of its various colors.

    • ethel smith profile image

      Ethel Smith 

      2 months ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Such a beautiful bird. Has a sleek body but an untidy looking head too.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      11 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Patricia,

      Isn't nature wonderful! The lilac-breasted roller bird is certainly a colorful one. Your little grandchild Heston Wayne likes rainbows from what you have written. He would undoubtedly like the colors of this bird.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      11 months ago from sunny Florida

      What a beautiful bird...the video certainly showed to well the vibrant colors of the plumage. I was thinking it might be called rainbow bird due to the varied colors.

      So glad you shared this lovely creature with us....Angels are headed to you and yours in Houston. ps

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello BlossomSB,

      Glad you found this to be interesting. It also interested me when I first heard about this bird.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      2 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Oh, that's interesting. Thank you.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi aviannovice,

      In scrolling through your hubs I found the one you did on warblers and made a comment. Loved seeing all the different kinds of warblers you have in Oklahoma.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I did a Warblers of Oklahoma, if you'd like to see that.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi aviannovice,

      Have you written about spring warblers? Would be interesting to learn about them. Appreciate your comment.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Indeed, they are striking birds. Our spring warblers are showy birds, too, but nothing like this.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Alicia,

      Happy to know that you enjoyed reading this.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      The photos are beautiful, Peggy! What a lovely bird. Thank you for sharing the photos and the interesting facts.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Frank,

      So glad to know that you liked learning about the Lilac-Breasted Roller Bird. It certainly is colorful!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      2 years ago from Shelton

      Peggy W this does satisfy the bird lover in all of us.. It is a beautiful bird.. what a wonderful hub :)

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Rachel,

      So glad you found this of interest and thanks for the pin.

    • Rachel L Alba profile image

      Rachel L Alba 

      2 years ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      Hi Peggy, What a beautiful bird. I love birds and love to read about them. Thank you so much for showing this beautiful bird to us. I am pinning this.

      Blessings to you.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi BlossomSB,

      Yes, amazingly the female is just as colorful.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      2 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      I've been helping with mist-nets in South Africa and we saw (and held) some beautiful little birds that were being studied then, but I haven't ever seen this one! He seems quite a character. I was wondering, is the female as colourful, too?

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello FlourishAnyway,

      That is a good description that you made...that of looking like a crazy quilt. :)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      2 years ago from USA

      Gorgeous -- lookalike it's wearing a crazy quilt!

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Roberta,

      I agree that this particular bird would make for a wonderful and colorful painting. So glad you liked this! :)

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 

      2 years ago from the short journey

      Oh! What a beautiful creature! Your post and pictures have made me want to stop everything and go paint one. I like the very first and very last photos best, for what that's worth. :)

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