(Last Updated on : 18/10/2010)
Scientifically called Coracias benghalensis, the Indian Roller was earlier called the Blue Jay. It is a member of the roller family of birds of the tropical southern Asia from Iraq to Thailand. This is not a migratory bird but it undertakes some seasonal travels.
The Indian Roller is a sturdy bird, which is sized like a Jackdaw at thirty to thirty four centimeters in length. This multi coloured bird has a warm brown back, lilac breast and face and blue crown, wings, tail and belly. The adolescent bird is darker version of the adult bird. The Southeast Asian race has a green coloured back and purple under parts and is mistaken as a separate species.
The stunning direct and strong flight of the Indian rollers remarkably distinguishes them from other birds. When the bird flies the brilliant blue coloured wings contrasts with the brown back body. The Roller is a common bird, which alights on trees, posts or overhead wires while hunting for insects, lizards and frogs that they eat. These birds are fearless and can dive or roll at humans. The display of the bird is a lapwing-like display. The bird gets its name from its twists and turns of display.
The Indian Roller seeks shelter in lined holes in trees or buildings and lays about three to five eggs. The call of the Indian Roller is as harsh as the call of a crow, which makes a chack sound. It also makes a metallic bonk call. The bird becomes even more clamorous during the breeding season.
The Indian Roller has been given the status of a state bird by the states of Karnataka
and Andhra Pradesh