Fun Abyssinian Roller Facts For Kids

Mellisa Nair
Oct 20, 2022 By Mellisa Nair
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Sonali Rawat
Fun Abyssinian roller facts and other birds of the world facts for kids.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.4 Min

The Abyssinian roller is a colorful bird belonging to the Coraciidae family, also known as the family of old-world birds. There are eight other families under the same order, Coraciiformes.

The word Coaciiformes is driven from the Latin word coracium, which means 'like ravens.'

Its scientific name, Coracias abyssinicus, was given by Johann Hermann, a French naturalist, in 1783. The name roller was given to the species because of the aerobatics displayed by the birds while flying.

These birds are found in equatorial regions and breed across tropical Africa. The Abyssinian roller range occupies the Sahel, southern Mauritania, Senegal, Somalia, Ethiopia, western Yemen, and Saudi Arabia.

It is also known as the Senegal roller. They are usually found in the southern parts of its range, but northern breeding birds temporarily live away and slowly migrate in short distances towards the south after the wet season.

An Abyssinian roller (Coracias abyssinicus) saliently sits on tree branches, overhead wires, or posts, carefully observing and analyzing its surroundings from a height to spot potential prey such as small rodents and medium to large-sized insects, similar to a large shrike, it nests in a scantily lined hole or tree.

To secure its prey, an Abyssinian roller bird will attack any intruders by diving in front of them and even fly through a forest fire to prey on the injured invertebrates. Birds of this species are fearless and great hunters.

If you like reading about birds, check out facts about other birds of the world from our lilac-breasted roller and Indian roller pages.

Abyssinian Roller Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an Abyssinian roller?

An Abyssinian roller (Coracias abyssinicus) is a bird belonging to the Animalia kingdom.

What class of animal does an Abyssinian roller belong to?

An Abyssinian roller (Coracias abyssinicus) belongs to the Aves class.

How many Abyssinian rollers are there in the world?

We do not have accurate data about their population size, but these birds are found in plenty.

Where does an Abyssinian roller live?

The Abyssinian roller (Coracias abyssinicus) is endemic to tropical Africa. Its distribution occurs in southern Mauritania, Senegal, Ethiopia, Somalia, and northern Kenya. These birds are also found in Saudi Arabia and Yemen. These birds, in tropical and warms countries, are as common as the house finch in Mexico.

What is an Abyssinian roller's habitat?

The Abyssinian roller's habitat includes trees, farmlands, agricultural fields. It has even adapted to human habitation. It prefers living in regions with warm climatic conditions and nests in scantily lined trees or buildings.

Who do Abyssinian roller live with?

These birds are solitary and usually live alone or in pairs after mating.

How long does an Abyssinian roller live?

These birds live 8-10 years in the wild and up to 13 years in captivity.

How do they reproduce?

An Abyssinian roller is monogamous, meaning it has only one sexual partner during the breeding season. Partners may change when the new breeding season begins.

Before mating, these birds communicate their readiness by cleaning each other's feathers and spend time together building their nest. Mating begins three to five days before the breeding season begins, and it stops shortly before the clutch is complete.

They usually mate on branches near or next to their nest. Incubation lasts for several weeks, females incubate the eggs during the night, and males incubate the eggs for a few hours during the day.

Both parents are protective of their nest, eggs and are territorial. They attack any intruders by aggressively diving in front of them.

The clutch of the Abyssinian roller consists of three to six eggs, which are white and hatch in 20-22 days. After that, the young chicks remain in the nest for an entire month before they take their first flight.

What is their conservation status?

The IUNC Red List of Threatened Species has classified the Abyssinian roller (Coracias abyssinicus) as a species of Least Concern.

Abyssinian Roller Fun Facts

What do Abyssinian rollers look like?

Rollers are among some of the most beautiful birds of the world. These birds are bewitching and can be spotted easily.

They are short and slim with long outer tail feathers. Abyssinian roller wings have captivating patterns and are colored in two beautiful shades of blue, half deep royal blue and half celeste.

They can be easily identified among other roller species like lilac-breasted rollers and European rollers, by their blue throats and elongated tail. The feathers on the backs of Abyssinian roller are brown, and the rest of their body is celeste, similar to their wings.

Juvenile rollers have a faded and duller appearance and have pale blue feathers. Abyssinians are medium to small-sized birds with pointy bills, strong syndactylous feet, their toes are merged without an intermediate web.

Amazing facts about an Abyssinian roller.

How cute are they?

These birds have stunning shades of blue all over their body with beautiful patterns on their wings. They are mesmerizing and worth observing. They also look cute because of their small size!

How do they communicate?

Abyssinian rollers communicate with vocal and visual actions. Vocal communication includes a variety of call notes that communicate different emotions and information.

These calls are distinguished based on how high or low the tone and pitch is. These calls are used to find mating partners or offsprings, and to alert the nearby birds about predators or any other dangers. These birds do not sing or have a sweet melodious voice.

They produce harsh sounds such as screeching and cawing. To impress females before the mating season, male roller birds display perform acrobatics while flying near them.

How big is an Abyssinian roller?

An Abyssinian roller is 11–12 in (28–30 cm) in height.

They are almost the same size as a jackdaw.

How fast can an Abyssinian roller fly?

There is no accurate data about the speed rate of this species.

How much does an Abyssinian roller weigh?

An Abyssinian roller weighs about 3.4-4.9 oz (97-140 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

These birds do not have separate names for their male and female bird species. They are simply denoted as males and females.

What would you call a baby Abyssinian roller?

A baby Abyssinian bird is called a chick.

What do they eat?

The Abyssinian diet mainly consists of grasshoppers, snails, earthworms, spiders, ants, and other insects and invertebrates.

They are hunted and preyed on by various predators like the lanner falcon.

Are they dangerous?

Abyssinian rollers are very defensive are fearless. These birds will attack you if they consider you a threat.

Their attacks include ferociously diving in front of you, their feet and beaks may leave a few scratches as well, but no serious injuries are caused by them. The Abyssinian rollers are solitary and do not interact with others much, so if you do get attacked by one, it's probably because you're invading their territory.

Would they make a good pet?

Abyssinian rollers are not common as pets because they are aggressive and territorial. Juveniles may warm up to you faster than the adults. Feeding them is easy, but they may have special requirements to survive and live a healthy life since they are wild birds. Overall, they would make a good pet.

Did you know...

This bird is often confused and thought to be cousins with the beautiful, colorful small-sized bird, kingfisher. They do, however, share the same taxonomic order of Coraciiformes.

The female Abyssinian lays one egg a day so that if there is a shortage of food, the older chicks get fed more.

There are eleven species or members of the roller family, including the European Roller (Coracias garrulus) and Abyssinian Roller (Coracias abyssinica). Lilac-breasted Roller (Coracias caudata) is probably the most famous member of the roller bird family.

While some other birds in the family include racquet-tailed roller (Coracias spatulata), rufous-crowned roller (Coracias naevius), Indian roller (Coracias benghalensis), Temminck's roller (Coracias temminckii), blue-bellied roller (Coracias cyanogaster), and others.

The Abyssinian pronunciation is 'a-buh-si-nee-uhn.'

Do Abyssinian roller migrate?

These birds usually occur in the tropical-southern range, but northern breeding populations are short-distance migrants that migrate towards the southern region once the wet season is over.

Do Abyssinian roller sing in pairs?

No, an Abyssinian roller does not sing. It makes harsh, unpleasant sounds like a screech and gak.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these common raven facts or macaw facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable abyssinian roller coloring pages.

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Written by Mellisa Nair

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Economics and English Literature

Mellisa Nair picture

Mellisa NairBachelor of Arts specializing in Economics and English Literature

Specializing in the creation of SEO-friendly content, Mellisa brings enthusiasm and expertise to our team. Her work in digital marketing and social media is complemented by her academic background in economics and English literature, as she holds a Bachelor's degree in these subjects from Wilson College Chowpatty, Mumbai. Mellisa's experience working with clients from various industries, including retail, education, and technology, reflects her ability to adapt her skills to different contexts and audiences.

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Fact-checked by Sonali Rawat

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature, Masters of Art specializing in English and Communication Skills

Sonali Rawat picture

Sonali RawatBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature, Masters of Art specializing in English and Communication Skills

Sonali has a Bachelor's degree in English literature from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University and is currently pursuing a Master's in English and Communication from Christ University. With considerable experience in writing about lifestyle topics, including travel and health, she has a passion for Japanese culture, especially fashion, and anime, and has written on the subject before. Sonali has event managed a creative-writing festival and coordinated a student magazine at her university. Her favorite authors are Toni Morrison and Anita Desai.

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