African Wildlife - Lilac-breasted Roller (Coracias Caudata)
This brightly coloured bird with its brilliant azure wing feathers
and seven differently coloured body feathers is a relatively big
bird at a height of 35cm to 36cm and a mass of between 99 and
107g. Mzilikazi, the founder of the Matabele nation in Southern
Africa used the pastel blue feathers of the Lilac-breasted Roller
to adorn his Royal Headdress.
The Lilac-breasted Roller can often be seen perching on a tree
next to the road from where it hunts for locusts, lizards, large
beetles, caterpillars and flying ants. It glides from the tree
next to the insect and moves in to grab it. It also often puts
on flashy aerial displays while on hunt for insects.
The population of the Lilac-breasted Roller has a tendency to
increase in summer and decrease in winter. Breeding takes place
annually between September and December and most often a hole
in a tree will be used for this purpose.
African Wildlife Paintings by South African Artist