Wild Birds

Blue-bellied Rollers

The Blue-bellied Rollers, Coracias cyanogaster, is a member of the roller family of birds that breeds across Africa in a narrow belt from Senegal to the northeast Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire). It is resident, apart from some local seasonal movements, in a mature moist savannah dominated by Isoberlinia trees. This is a common bird of warm open country with some trees.

Widespread and common throughout its large range, the Blue-bellied Roller is evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.


The Blue-bellied Rollers is a large bird, nearly the size of a Jackdaw at 28-30 cm. It has a dark green back, white head, neck and breast, with the rest of the plumage mainly blue. Adults have 6cm tail streamers.

Males and females look alike, but the juvenile is a drabber version of the adult.

Blue-bellied Roller is striking in its strong direct flight, with the brilliant blues of the wings contrasting with the dark back and white head, and the tail streamers trailing behind.

The display of this bird is a lapwing-like display, with the twists and turns that give this species its English name.

Diet / Feeding

These rollers often perch prominently on trees, posts or overhead wires, like giant shrikes, whilst watching for the grasshoppers and other large insects on which they feed.

Nesting / Breeding

It nests in a hole in a tree cavity.

Calls / Vocalizations

The call of Blue-bellied Roller is a harsh clicking ga-ga-ga sound.


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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button