The European roller (Coracias garrulus) is a near passerine bird belonging to the family of rollers, Coraciidae.
These species of rollers are distributed in Northwest India, Pakistan, West Asia, Central Asia, Europe, Northwest and Sub-Saharan Africa and Middle East. The rollers perform rolling aerial acrobatics with twists and turns during courtship or territorial flights, hence the name. There are two recognized subspecies of the European roller.
- Appearance, description and pictures
- Distribution and habitat
- Feeding and breeding habits
- Migration and conservation status
European roller - Overview
- Scientific name: Coracias garrulus
- Species author: Linnaeus, 1758
- Synonyms: Coracias Garrulus Linnaeus, 1758
- Family: Coraciidae › Coraciiformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
- Common Name: European roller
- Other languages: Chinese: 蓝胸佛法僧, French: Rollier d’Europe, German: Blauracke, Spanish: Carraca europea, Russian: Сизоворонка, Japanese: ニシブッポウソウ, Arabic: شقراق
- Other names: Blue Roller, Common Roller, Eurasian Roller,
- Distribution: northwest India, Pakistan, West Asia, Central Asia, Europe, Northwest and Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East
- Diet and feeding habits: grasshoppers, beetles, mantises, moths, centipedes, millipedes, crickets, small lizards, small rodents, frogs
- IUCN status listing: Least Concern (LC)
The bill is steel gray and the irises are black. The scaly legs and toes are pale brown. The two outer front toes are connected, while the inner toe is free. Their call is a harsh crow-like sound. When disturbed or threatened they make series of disturbingly harsh calls.
|Birds of India - Image of European roller - Coracias garrulus by Christian Svane (csv)|
|Indian birds - Picture of European roller - Coracias garrulus|
|Birds of India - European roller - Coracias garrulus|
The European roller subspecies C. g. garrulus Linnaeus is distributed in Northwest Africa (Morocco), Southwest and south-central Europe, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Syria, Iraq, north-west Iran and south-west Russia. These European roller subspecies are long-distance migrants and they winter in southern Africa.
The Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA) of European roller are in over 150 identified areas spread over Austria, Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, France, Hungary, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Kenya.
Ecosystem and habitatThese European roller species are not forest dependent. They inhabit various ecosystems. They prefer warm, sunny lowlands and avoid treeless plains. However, they are found in highlands with elevations up to 1,000 meters in Europe and up to 2,000 meters in Morocco. They occur in pine and oak woodlands with open areas. They occur in wooded areas near farmlands, orchards, plantations and also in dry open land with trees.
Reproduction and breeding habitsThe breeding season of these European roller species is from May to July. On arrival at the breeding grounds after wintering, the male establishes territory with rolling and diving aerial display which is typical of rollers. These birds are monogamous. They nest in tree holes and rock crevices and lay up to six eggs in the unlined nest.
Conservation status and concernsThe global population size of the European roller is estimated to number about 200,000 to 600,000 individual birds. The overall population size is considered to be under slow decline. The migrating European rollers are hunted and killed in thousands in around the Mediterranean for food, especially in Oman. There is considerable breeding habitat loss. Their generation length is 5.6 years. These roller species have large range and population.
The European roller does not approach the thresholds for being Vulnerable either under the range size criterion or under the population trend criterion or under the population size criterion. The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated the European roller (Coracias garrulus) and has listed it as of "Least Concern".
1.Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:European_roller.jpg
Image author: Christian Svane (csv) | License: CC-By-SA-2.5
2.Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:European_Roller.JPG
Image author: Gouldingken | License: CC BY 3.0
3.Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:ZA-KNP-blauracke.jpg
Image author: Bgabel at wikivoyage shared | License: CC BY-SA 3.0
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