Lilac-breasted roller / Coracias caudatus

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Males and females have the same colouring. Juvenile birds don’t have the black streamers, and their throats and breasts are reddish-brown. As they reach maturity, their throats and breasts will turn lilac.

The lilac-breasted roller could have just as easily been called the “rainbow roller.” They have around 8 colours; green, white, black, yellow, turquoise, dark blue, reddish brown, and of course lilac.

Rollers, in general, owe their common name to their mating display, which consists of a lot of dives and swoops accompanied by loud and harsh cries.

The lilac-breasted roller has a robust body and a proportionately large head with a heavy black beak. It has a white chin and a white or yellow band above the eyes and beak. It’s breast is a dark lilac that grows lighter towards the throat.

The abdomen and underside of the wings are turquoise, and the wings’ underside is also trimmed with dark blue. The upper part of the wings are reddish brown. Their forked tail, which is also turquoise, ends in black streamers.

Like other members of the roller family, the lilac-breasted roller has syndactyl feet with the second and third toes fused together. While its upper legs have turquoise feathers, its lower legs and feet are bare, scaly, and yellowish.

Lilac-breasted rollers eat mainly insects like beetles and grasshoppers.