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.
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 knew of the Lilac-breasted roller but this is a new one for me to learn! And to put on that ever-growing “must see” list. 😉
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…
haha…yes, I know how that goes with the photos! I’m right there with you on that!
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A handsome and brilliantly colored bird vividly photographed. Even the brown color of its back is so warm and vibrant.
thank you for your comment, Judy! It is indeed a very pretty bird!!
Wow..its a very beautiful bird. Thank you for sharing.
thank you for commenting 😉
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