Today, the bird I have most enjoyed watching was the Lilac-Breasted Roller

Lilac-Breasted Rollers are ubiquitous in the National Park. These birds are easy to spot because of their gorgeous plumage and their habit of perching on dead trees where they have a panoramic view of their surroundings. From on high, they can spot lizards, scorpions, small snakes and insects on the ground. They swoop down on their prey and will often just hop about for a while on the ground after it has eaten.


Rollers have excellent aerobatic skills. During the breeding season, males will fly high into the sky before zooming down like a Stuka, squawking loudly.

As its name suggests, the breast is lilac coloured, with an azure blue belly. The head has white whiskers and eyebrows, with a black bill and greenish crown. The back of the bird is cinnamon coloured. Adults have long twin tail feathers. Very exotic.


You have to be quick on the shutter to photograph these birds. They are notorious for flying off when you reach for the camera.

By Dr Alfred Prunesquallor

Maverick doctor with 40 years experience, I reduced my NHS commitment in 2013. I am now enjoying being free lance, working where I am needed overseas. Now I am working in the UK helping with the current coronavirus pandemic.


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