Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:34 pm
Purple Roller Coracias naevius
35-40 cm. A large, stocky and dull roller. From a distance or in poor light it appears, a plain dark brown with broad pale supercillium and white spot on the hindcrown. The upperparts are mainly dark olive-green, the rump is blue-purple. Conspicuous white supercillium and small pale patch on the hindcrown. Closed wings look dark rufous; the tail is square, dark greenish centrally and the rest is purple-blue. The sides of the head and underparts are a pale purple-brown, heavily streaked white; the lower flanks, belly and undertailcoverts are unstreaked. In flight they are marginally brighter. The flight feathers are blue-black. Marginal upper wingcoverts are pale pink, median and lesser coverts are bright lilac to dark purple, the greater coverts vinaceous are brown, primary coverts and alula are purple. The underwing is pale pink. Rather long-winged. The bill is black, legs and feet are olive-brown in colour. The sexes are alike.
Distribution and habitat
Occurs across sub-Saharan Africa; in southern Africa it is widespread but uncommon in northern and central Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, southern Mozambique and north-eastern South Africa. It generally prefers dry woodland and savanna, especially with bushwillows (Combretum), Mopane (Colophospermum mopane), Apple-leaf (Philenoptera), Burkea (Burkea africana), Zambezi teak (Baikiaea plurijuga) and miombo (Brachystegia).
Mainly eats insects, supplemented with other small animals, doing most of its hunting by sitting and scanning the vegetation. If it spots prey it dives to the ground and pounces.
Monogamous, territorial solitary nester. Courtship is elaborate, with pairs feeding one another and performing spectacular aerial displays. The nest is usually a cavity in a tree, at least 5 m above ground; it may also use a rock crevice or vertical pipe. It lays 2-4 eggs in the period from May-June, peaking from October-April.
Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:18 pm
Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:21 pm
Blue-bellied Roller Coracias cyanogaster
Blue-bellied Rollers are small birds with relatively large heads. They have heavy, downward-curved beaks and short legs to fit their stocky bodies. They have cream-colored heads and chests, with pale-blue bellies and dark blue or dark green wings. These birds have a brownish-black mantle and scapulars with streaks of green. Blue-bellied rollers have azure-blue tails, which are slightly forked. They have an average wingspan of 359 mm. Mass ranges from about 110 g to 150 g, with an average mass of 142 g. Blue-bellied rollers are generally about 280 mm to 300 mm in total length. Juveniles are typically smaller than adults, with duller coloration and a shorter tail. Sexes alike.
Blue-bellied Rollers are found in western and central Africa, from Senegal eastward to southern Sudan.
Blue-bellied Rollers live in wooded savanna, tree plantations, forest edges, recently burned land, and forests near marshes. These savanna areas are often forest edges, and are rarely more than several tens of meters above sea level.
Blue-bellied Rollers undergo courtship when specific rollers call loudly and raucously to attract their mates. Blue-bellied rollers, along with other "rollers", got their name from their unique courtship behaviors, in which they roll back and forth in the sky, tumbling to the ground, while calling loudly and raucously. Blue-bellied rollers are territorial and attack any birds that approach their nests. Males and females engage in a fast chasing flight, described above. One male copulates with one or two females. Blue-bellied rollers are sometimes monogamous and sometimes promiscuous. Male blue-bellied rollers have been known to copulate with two different females in intervals of only ten minutes, up to three males may copulate with the same female.
Blue-bellied rollers breed in the spring and summer months, from April to July. They generally lay two or three eggs per season. Both parents incubate the eggs for about 18 to 20 days. Both parents feed the nestlings for about 30 days after hatching and for up to twenty days after fledging. Blue-bellied rollers typically become independent after about forty days. There is no information available regarding the age of sexual maturity.
Blue-bellied rollers feed their young by means of regurgitation. Both parents incubate eggs for 18 to 20 days, although most incubation is done by the female parent. Both parents feed nestlings for 30 days and for up to 20 days after fledging.
Blue-bellied Rollers generally feed on large invertebrates such as beetles, grasshoppers, winged ants and termites. Blue-bellied rollers also feed on some small vertebrates, including colubrid snakes. They also eat oil-palm fruits.
Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:39 pm
Blue-Bellied Roller - found in a narrow belt from Senegal to north-east DRC.
Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:48 pm
Superb topic and thanks for collating all the info
Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:09 pm
Can I still post in this thread, even though December has passed?
Mel, I am doing the short cut this month....
will you start up a thread of a bird specie of your own choice for BIRD OF THE MONTH - JANUARY 2013.
Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:11 pm
Amoli, this was your idea, so if you want to still post pics, it's all up to you!!
Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:13 pm
Amoli wrote:Can I still post in this thread, even though December has passed?
Ask youself for permission
Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:27 pm
Broad-billed Roller Eurystomus glaucurus
It is 29–30 cm in length. It has a warm back and head, lilac foreneck and breast, with the rest of the plumage mainly brown. The broad bill is bright yellow. Sexes are similar, but the juvenile is a drabber version of the adult, with a pale breast. It is striking in its strong direct flight, with the brilliant blues of the wings and tail contrasting with the brown back.
Distribution and habitat
Occurs across sub-Saharan Africa; in southern Africa it is fairly common in the Caprivi Strip (Namibia), northern and eastern Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and north-eastern South Africa. It generally prefers savanna and clearings in woodlands.
Intra-African breeding migrant, mainly breeding in southern Africa before moving north in the non-breeding season. Flocks start to arrive in southern Africa in September, leaving in the period from December to April.
It is a specialist predator, mainly eating swarming termite and ant alates, as well as beetles and bugs. It hunts aerially, often in large flocks. The following percentages indicate the proportion of that food item in its diet, (e.g. roughly 9% of its diet is beetles).
It mainly nests in unlined cavities about 5-15 m above ground, usually in a tree but occasionally in a barn. It lays 2-4 eggs, typically timed with the emergence of insects after rain.
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