European Roller

European Roller
An adult Roller with a Centipede
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Coraciiformes
Family: Coraciidae
Genus: Coracias
Species: C. garrulus
Binomial name
Coracias garrulus
Linnaeus, 1758

The European Roller, Coracias garrulus, is the only member of the roller family of birds to breed in Europe. Its overall range extends into the Middle East and Central Asia and Morocco.

There are two subspecies: the nominate garrulus, which breeds from in north Africa from Morocco east to Tunisia, southwest and south-central Europe and Asia Minor east through northwest Iran to southwest Siberia; and semenowi, which breeds in Iraq and Iran (except northwest) east to Kashmir and north to Turkmenistan, south Kazakhstan and northwest China (west Xinjiang). The European Roller is a long-distance migrant, wintering in southern Africa in two distinct regions, from Senegal east to Cameroon and from Ethiopia west to Congo and south to South Africa.

It is a bird of warm, dry, open country with scattered trees, preferring lowland open countryside with patches of oak Quercus forest, mature pine Pinus woodland with heathery clearings, orchards, mixed farmland, river valleys, and plains with scattered thorny or leafy trees. It winters primarily in dry wooded savanna and bushy plains, where it typically nests in tree holes.

The European Roller is a stocky bird, the size of a Jackdaw at 29–32 cm in length with a 52–58 cm wingspan; it is mainly blue with an orange-brown back. Rollers often perch prominently on trees, posts or overhead wires, like giant shrikes, whilst watching for the large insects, small reptiles, rodents and frogs that they eat.

This species is striking in its strong direct flight, with the brilliant blue contrasting with black flight feathers. Sexes are similar, but the juvenile is a drabber version of the adult.

The display of this bird is a lapwing-like display, with the twists and turns that give this species its English name. It nests in an unlined tree or cliff hole, and lays up to six eggs.

The call is a harsh crow-like sound. It gives a raucous series of calls when nervous.

Some populations migrate to Africa through India. A collision with an aircraft over the Arabian Sea has been recorded.[1]

The European Roller has a large global population, including an estimated 100,000-220,000 individuals in Europe. However, following a moderate decline during 1970-1990, the species has continued to decline especially in Europe, with overall European exceeding 30% in three generations (15 years). In Estonia the 50-100 pairs in 1998 have reduced to no known breeding pairs in 2004; in Latvia and Lithuania populations have decreased from several thousand of pairs in the 1970s to under 30 pairs in 2004. In Russia it has disappeared from the northern part of its range. However, there is no evidence of any declines in Central Asia.

The declines in the European population has resulted in its Red List status being upgraded from Least Concern to Near Threatened in 2005. Threats include persecution on migration in some Mediterranean countries and hundreds, perhaps thousands, are shot for food in Oman every spring. Use of pesticides reduces food availability, and the species is sensitive to changing farming and forestry practices.

Notes

Coracias garrulus in Romania
European Roller, Kruger National Park (South Africa)
  1. ^ Satheesan, S. M. (1990) Bird-aircraft collision at an altitude of 2424 m over the sea. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 87(1):145-146

References

  • BirdLife International (2005). Coracias garrulus. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 11 May 2006. Database entry includes a lengthy justification of why this species is near threatened
  • Lars Svensson and Peter J. Grant. Collins Bird Guide. 1999.

External links

Media related to Coracias garrulus at Wikimedia Commons


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • European Roller — žalvarnis statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas atitikmenys: lot. Coracias garrulus angl. European Roller vok. Blauracke …   Paukščių anatomijos terminai

  • European roller — europinis žalvarnis statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas atitikmenys: lot. Coracias garrulus angl. European roller vok. Blauracke, f rus. обыкновенная сизоворонка, f; ракша, f pranc. rollier d Europe, m ryšiai: platesnis terminas – tikrieji… …   Paukščių pavadinimų žodynas

  • European roller — noun common European blue and green roller with a reddish brown back • Syn: ↑Coracias garrulus • Hypernyms: ↑roller • Member Holonyms: ↑Coracias, ↑genus Coracias …   Useful english dictionary

  • Roller — For other uses, see Roller (disambiguation). Rollers Lilac breasted Roller Scientific classification Kingdom …   Wikipedia

  • European Confederation of Roller Skating — The European Confederation of Roller Skating (Confédération Européenne de Roller Skating, or CERS) is the main European roller skating organization. The CERS is part of the International Roller Sports Federation, or FIRS. Varieties of skating… …   Wikipedia

  • Roller skiing — Roller skis. Roller skiing is a non snow equivalent to cross country skiing. Emulating skis, elongated inline skates, with wheels at the ends, are used on tarmac. The skating/skiing action is very similar to actual cross country skiing on snow.… …   Wikipedia

  • Roller hockey (Quad) — is highly popular and has many names worldwide that mean the same sport. Some common names for names Roller Hockey (quad) are: Hóquei em Patins, International Style Ball hockey, Rink Hockey or Hardball Hockey. Roller Hockey was a demonstration… …   Wikipedia

  • Roller — Roll er, n. 1. One who, or that which, rolls; especially, a cylinder, sometimes grooved, of wood, stone, metal, etc., used in husbandry and the arts. [1913 Webster] 2. A bandage; a fillet; properly, a long and broad bandage used in surgery. [1913 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Roller bolt — Roller Roll er, n. 1. One who, or that which, rolls; especially, a cylinder, sometimes grooved, of wood, stone, metal, etc., used in husbandry and the arts. [1913 Webster] 2. A bandage; a fillet; properly, a long and broad bandage used in surgery …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Roller gin — Roller Roll er, n. 1. One who, or that which, rolls; especially, a cylinder, sometimes grooved, of wood, stone, metal, etc., used in husbandry and the arts. [1913 Webster] 2. A bandage; a fillet; properly, a long and broad bandage used in surgery …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.