Abyssinian Roller (Coracias abyssinicus)

Abyssinian Roller

Abyssinian Roller

The Abyssinian Roller (Coracias abyssinicus) is a large colourful bird living in the Sahel zone across tropical Africa. The birds are relatively common in open savannah landscapes with few trees on which they perch and wait for prey. Nevertheless, they have also become adapted to farmland and other loosely habitated areas where they fearlessly protect their nests: they even dive down on the occasional human intruder! The rollers with prominent long tail feathers feed on insects and the occasional small rodent.

I took the photos in this post during a two-day trip through the Pendjari National Park, Benin, in February 2012. This nature reserve might not be as well known as the national parks of eastern and southern Africa, but it is a very beautiful place and home of a large array of wild animals.

perching on a tree

perching on a tree

14 responses to “Abyssinian Roller (Coracias abyssinicus)

  1. Great photo of the Roller (1st photo) but it looks very similar to the Lilac Breasted Roller. Good photo though, caught the bird just right.


    • thanks for your comment! You are right, both species are somewhat similar, but the Lilac-breasted Roller does not occur in western Africa and has (as its name suggests) a lilac-coloured patch on the breast, while the Abyssinian Roller is only blue. In addition, the tail feathers are slightly shorter in the Lilac-breasted Roller…

      • good to know, and I have learnt something! I must look at my photos of the Lilac Breasted rollers and compare, but they are both very pretty birds.
        thanks for your reply, informative


    • I have seen the Lilac-breasted and Purple Roller in southern Africa, but they really look different. I also have photographs of both species – maybe I will upload them another day, however, those photographs are not very good…

  2. Pingback: Lilac-breasted Roller (Coracias caudatus) | wildlife weeks·

  3. Pingback: Purple Roller (Coracias naevia) | wildlife weeks·

  4. Pingback: West Africa 2012 (part I) | wild life·

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.