Lilac Breasted Roller

Scientific Name:
Coracias caudatus
Sub-Saharan Africa
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About the Lilac Breasted Roller

The Lilac-breasted Roller (Coracias caudatus) is a colorful bird species native to sub-Saharan Africa.


Lilac-breasted Rollers inhabit a variety of open woodland and savanna habitats, including acacia woodlands, scrublands, grasslands, and open forests. They are often found in areas with scattered trees or perches, which they use for hunting insects and displaying during courtship. These rollers are widespread across eastern and southern Africa and are commonly seen in both natural and human-modified landscapes, including agricultural areas and urban parks.


Lilac-breasted Rollers are medium-sized birds, measuring approximately 28 to 32 centimeters (11 to 13 inches) in length, with a wingspan of about 50 to 58 centimeters (20 to 23 inches). They have a robust body with a large head, a short, stout bill, and broad wings. Their plumage is characterized by striking colors, including shades of blue, green, purple, and pink, with a lilac-colored breast and belly. Best Viewing The best places to view Lilac-breasted Rollers are in open woodland and savanna habitats within their range. Look for them perched on tree branches or utility wires, where they scan their surroundings for insects and small prey. These rollers are often seen performing aerial displays, including swooping flights and acrobatic maneuvers, especially during the breeding season.