Today I’d like to introduce you to what is probably the most photogenic bird of all, the Lilac-breasted Roller (Coracias caudatus)
When I get a bird like this I think the only thing I need to do is show you pictures of it.
I mean, when was the last time you saw a bird that was both lilac and cyan? Never, that’s right. Check out that plumage, yo.
They’ve even got a forked tail to boot.
But what even is a Roller? Well, they live in Africa and belong to the taxonomic Order Coraciiformes, which is the same Order as our old friend the Kookaburra, so they’re cousins to Kingfishers. But whereas the Lilac-breasted Roller is like the Chelsea flower show of birds, the Kookaburra, by comparison, looks like a ten dollar petrol station bouquet bought at the last minute on mothers’ day and then left on the windowsill to wilt. Harsh but fair.
Now the reason they’re called Rollers is because of their impressive aeronautical feats. They’re quite the aggressive bird, and both males and females will guard their territory from anyone that looks at them funny. They will fly in a rolling pattern as a territorial display to ward off intruders. During mating season they also display by performing high speed dives. Apparently other Rollers find badass aerial displays sexy. I mean … you can’t blame them.
So that’s the Lilac-breasted Roller: the fearless little fighter jet of the sky, equipped with plumage that won’t quit.