Kenya Birds

Eurasian Roller


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Eurasian Roller

Photograph(s) Copyright ©P&H HARRIS

Coracias garrulus

Other Names

  English European Roller, Blue Roller, Common Roller   French Rollier d'Europe   German Blauracke   Spanish Carraca Europea, Carraca   Swedish Blåkråka   Dutch Scharrelaar   Italian Ghiandaia marina

World: Palearctic from sw,e Europe to Kirghiz Steppes and Turkestan (although absent from the area between the Caspian and Aral seas). Range includes w China, the Mediterranean region, Near and Middle East, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, as well as Africa

Kenya: Palearctic passage migrants in dry open woodland and bush country from November to April across much of the country

While they are present throughout migration period it is during March and April that they are most noticeable. This is not just because they are starting to come into full breeding plumage but also because they are present in huge numbers, significantly outnumbering the resident species. Tsavo is a particularly good place to see them at this time.

Unlike other members of the genus which are solitary, outside the breeding season the Eurasian Roller travels in loose flocks. They use a shrike-type approach to feeding, pouncing from an open perch on passing prey. They are mainly insectivorous but will tackle scorpions, frogs, lizards and even small birds.

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