January 8, 2012: Lilac-Breasted Roller (Coracias caudata)

The average size of the Lilac Breasted Roller is 14.5 inches, including the tail streamers. The washed green head is large, the neck is short, the greenish yellow legs are rather short and the feet are small. The beak is strong, arched and hooked-tipped. The tail is narrow and of medium length. The back and scapulars are brown. The shoulder of the wing, outer webs of the flight feathers and the rump are all violet. The bases of the primaries and their coverts are pale greenish blue and the outer tail feathers are elongated and blackish. The chin is whitish, shading to rich lilac of the breast. The underparts are greenish blue. The bill is black and the eyes are brown. It has large wings and strong flight.

Lilac-breasted roller is most cases seen hunting for its food which may range from grasshoppers, beetles and small amphibians. Great photographic chances are found when the bird is foraging in the ground.

It is the most commonly seen roller. It well distributed in Samburu, Lake Baringo and Bogoria, Nakuru, Masai Mara, Amboseli, Nairobi and Tsavo National Park.

Lilac-breasted Roller photoshoot

This Lilac-breasted Roller was caught posing at the Lake Baringo Club over Christmas. It just couldn’t get enough of having its photo taken. Enjoy this set of photos of this beautiful bird!

Coming up, a report on birds spotted on a recent tour I guided, as well as the bird of the week, and much more!

Joe