Abyssinian Rollers

The Abyssinian Rollers, Coracias abyssinica, can be found across tropical Africa in a belt south of the Sahara.

They are resident in the southern part of its range, but the northern breeding populations move further south after the wet season.

They are often observed perching prominently on trees, posts, or overhead wires.

They favor open country with some trees but have also adapted to farmland and human habitation.


The Abyssinian Rollers is nearly the size of a Jackdaw at 28-30 cm or 11 – 11.8 inches.

The plumage on the back is brown and the rest of the plumage is mostly blue.

Males and females look alike. Juveniles have a duller plumage.

These birds are fearless, and particularly near their nesting sites, will dive at humans and other perceived intruders.

Abyssinian Roller

Diet / Feeding

Their diet mainly consists of large insects worms, and other invertebrates.

Nesting / Breeding

They nest in scantily lined nesting holes, either in a tree or building.

The average clutch consists of 3-6 eggs.

Calls / Vocalizations

They make harsh crow-like gak sounds, or a screeched aaaargh can be heard…

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Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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