European Roller (Coracias garrulus) - Wiki
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[Photo] Adult European Roller (Coracias garrulus), Extremadura, Spain. Photo by Christian Svane. Date 2005-04-22
The European Roller, Coracias garrulus, is the only member of the roller family of birds to breed in Europe. Its range extends into western Asia and Morocco. It is a long-distance migrant, wintering in southern Africa.
It is a bird of warm open country with some trees. The European Roller is a stocky bird, the size of a Jackdaw at 29-32 cm in length with a 52-58 cm wingspan, but it is mainly blue with a warm brown back. Rollers often perch prominently on trees, posts or overhead wires, like giant shrikes, whilst watching for the large insects, lizards and frogs that they eat.
This species is even more striking in its strong direct flight, with the brilliant blue contrasting with black flight feathers. Sexes are similar, but the juvenile is a drabber version of the adult.
The display of this bird is a lapwing-like display, with the twists and turns that give this species its English name. It nests in an unlined tree or cliff hole, and lays up to six eggs.
The call is a harsh crow-like sound.
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