image credit: crazykanga
Habitat: sub-Saharan Africa and the southern Arabian Peninsula
Status: Least Concern
This absolutely breathtaking bird is the Lilac-breasted Roller. You won’t find them in any tree-less areas, since they need to be constantly perched atop high vantage points in order to spot yummy prey like insects, lizards, small rodents, and even small birds.
They nest in natural holes found in trees and lay around 2-4 eggs. Both boys and girls get to grow up looking fabulous, since there is no sexual dimorphism in the species. The birds are monogamous and their name ‘roller’ actually comes from the spectacular aerial displays the birds employ during mating season. Lilac-breasted Rollers will dive from a considerable elevation, and then roll in the air while simultaneously letting out a loud call to attract a partner.
The best part of their mating dance, though, is when it’s perched. It rocks its body, almost like a belly dancer, swaying back and forth while keeping its head perfectly still. It looks hilarious, actually. The colors of this Lilac-breasted Roller paired with its outstanding dance moves make it one of the true lady killers of the bird world.