The Roller family; Coraciidae, gets its name from the acrobatic aerial displays that these birds perform during courtship and territorial displays.
In southern Africa there are five Roller species, and here at Kapama, in amongst our 350 bird species, we are lucky enough to get 4 of these, The Lilac-breasted Roller, the European Roller, the Purple Roller and the sort-after Broad-billed Roller. These are all equally beautiful birds, and luckily for us there are beautiful visual differences between them.
I’m going to focus on the lilac-breasted Roller. They are one of my many favourite birds because of their beautiful lilac patch on their breast and in flight they have unmistakable bright blue flight feathers. These birds in flight will make any birder or non-birding persons jaw drop. Both sexes look alike with the lilac-breasted Roller, they are the only species with a lilac throat patch and the distinctive bright blue belly and body.