Sub-Saharan Gem: Admire the Vibrant Plumage of the Blue Bellied Roller

Blue-bellied roller (Coracias cyanogaster) are well-established across a wide range in Africa and are in no current danger of extinction. Blue-bellied rollers are native to western and central Africa, from Senegal to southern Sudan. They live in wooded areas often on the edge of open or recently burned areas.

image Behavior: Blue-bellied rollers are social birds that typically gather in small groups of 3 to 7, sometimes more. They exhibit many social behaviors, including calling to each other, chasing each other, flying together, and defending territory together. They have an interesting hunting style: they sit high in trees – about 30 feet up – and dive-bomb prey on the ground. They plummet toward the ground to snatch up prey, then return to the treetops. Description:

image Blue-bellied rollers are sturdy, pigeon-sized birds with heavy black bills and beautiful, distinctive blue, black, pinkish-cream, and teal coloration. Breeding: During courtship, male and female blue-bellied rollers chase each other in flight, rolling through the sky and calling loudly to each other. sIt is not clear when and how males invest their parenting time monogamous but sometimes polygamous, which means that sometimes a male will choose to breed with more than one female. Females nest in tree holes, and particularly in hollow palm trees. They lay clutches of 2 to 3 eggs, and there is evidence that both males and females spend time incubating the eggs, although females spend more time on the nest than males. Incubation lasts 22 to 24 days. While nesting, blue-bellied rollers are very territorial and will attack any other bird that attempts to approach. Parent birds will care for nestlings for about a month after hatching, and the baby birds will fledge in four weeks time.



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