Its brilliant plumage brings an exotic note to the countryside...
The rollers are an Old World family, Coraciidae, of near passerine birds. The group gets its name from the aerial acrobatics some of these birds perform during courtship or territorial flights. Roller birds resemble crows in size and build, and share the colorful appearance of kingfishers and bee-eaters - blues and pinkish or cinnamon browns predominating. The two inner front toes are connected, but not the outer one.
The roller is a very beautiful bird, which some ornithologists claim is the most beautiful of all European birds. It is a solitary bird, quite difficult to observe since it is not very common. Despite its brightly colored feathers, it can easily hide itself among the foliage and its discreet way of life enables it to remain largely unseen. It is also a migratory bird.
The roller bird provides our fauna with an exotic element and its coloring will give any nature lover a distinct shock when first seen. To see it perched, with its rather angular appearance, it is hard to believe that it is a real acrobat in the air. It can climb vertically and then drop like a stone with wings closed until it is close to the ground. The rare spectacle of a pair of roller birds in mating display is unforgettable. Sometimes, several couples gather to parade together but this phenomenon hardly ever occurs in Northern countries, where the bird is rare and exists only in isolated specimens.
The roller's diet is varied but consists principally of all kinds of insects, which it snatches in flight with the adroitness of a bee-eater. Its nest is at the bottom of a hole in a tree. Below, is an example of one the specimens from the roller family:
Image Credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Lilac-breasted_roller.jpg
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