European Roller/Coracias garrulus - Adult

European Roller/Coracias garrulus - Photographer: Иван Петров
European Roller/Coracias garrulus - Photographer: Frank Schulkes
European Roller/Coracias garrulus - Photographer: Frank Schulkes
European Roller/Coracias garrulus - Photographer: Frank Schulkes

L 29-32 cm, WS 52-57½ cm. Breeds in dry, warm, open country with scattered trees, copses and open woods (mainly oak, locally also pine) and plenty of largish ground-dwelling insects (beetles, grasshoppers etc.). Summer visitor (mostly May-Aug), winters in S Africa. Nests usually in tree-hole.
IDENTIFICATION: A Jackdaw-sized, heavily built, green-tinged pale blue bird with brown back. Large head and strong black bill. In flight, shows contrast between blue wing-coverts and blackish remiges. Leading wing-edge and rump ultramarine-blue. Over longer stretches flies with rather slow but powerful, slightly clipped beats and on straight course, but at times makes minor turns and swerves. - Juvenile: Duller and more green-grey plumage; breast and median upperwing-coverts tinged brown.
VOICE: Call and alarm a hard ‘rack-ack’ (sometimes mono- or trisyllabic). When nervous etc. raucous series, ‘reehr-eehr-eehr-eehr-...’ (voice like scolding Jackdaw or Rook). Call during almost Lapwing-like display-flights starts with a few hard notes followed by 1-4 fast, hoarse drawn-out ‘kraah’ notes. Structure of call varies somewhat.

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