European Roller

Conservation status

Least Concern

Population Trend


Alternate Names


Native Habitat



Large insects, Small reptiles, Rodents, Frogs


European Roller

Coracias garrulus

The European roller is a stocky bird, the size of a jackdaw at 29–32 cm in length with a 52–58 cm wingspan; it is mainly blue with an orange-brown back. Rollers often perch prominently on trees, posts or overhead wires, like giant shrikes, whilst watching for the large insects, small reptiles, rodents and frogs that they eat. This species is striking in its strong direct flight, with the brilliant blue contrasting with black flight feathers. Sexes are similar, but the juvenile is a drabber version of the adult. The display of this bird is a lapwing-like display, with the twists and turns that give this species its English name. It nests in an unlined tree or cliff hole, and lays up to six eggs. The call is a harsh crow-like sound. It gives a raucous series of calls when nervous. Some populations migrate to Africa through India.

Regional Names
  • Bengali:
    ইউরোপীয় নীলকান্ত
  • Gujarati:
    કાશ્મીરી ચાષ
  • Marathi:
    युरोपियन नीलकंठ
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Coracias garrulus