Lilac-Breasted Roller – Pretty, Common Residents

The lilac-breasted roller is a beautiful, eye-catching, colourful bird. It’s common to see them and you won’t be disappointed when you do!

It’s an easy bird to identify. It’s colours are striking in flight and will easily distinguish it from other birds.

If you confuse it with anything, you’re likely to confuse it with its cousin, the European roller, which is blue with a brown back. A closer look will remove any doubt.

This species of roller can be found all over Kruger National Park throughout the year. Get to know its name and keep an eye out for it, because you’ll start seeing them everywhere. And you’ll never tire of seeing them.

Lilac-breasted rollerYou can often see them sitting perched in the little branches of bushes on the roadside, waiting to catch insects.

The birds are multi-coloured with a turquoise body, dark blue wing tips, a brownish back, a turquoise crown and of course a lilac breast!

It’s beak and feet are both a dark grey colour. A photo will give you a much better idea of what they look like though!

They can be disruptive birds as their calls are harsh squawks and screams.

The birds are named rollers based on their acrobatic displays in the air when trying to attract a mate and when fighting.

 

There are other types of rollers in Kruger National Park too and all of them are similarly pretty:

  • Racket-tailed roller
  • European roller (common in summer)
  • Purple roller
  • Broad-billed roller (common in summer)

They’re all found everywhere in the park, except for the racket-tailed roller which only lives in northern Kruger Park.