Fun Lilac-breasted Roller Facts For Kids

Divya Raghav
Oct 20, 2022 By Divya Raghav
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Isobel Murphy
Fact-checked by Deeti Gupta
Read these amusing lilac-breasted roller facts about one of the most attractive birds of the world.

The lilac-breasted roller, also known as the lilac-throated roller, is a bird from the Aves class and the Coraciidae family. The lilac-breasted roller is Kenya's national bird and famous for its other names such as fork-tailed roller and Mosilikatze's roller.

The lilac-breasted roller is a southern African bird usually found in open woodland and savanna areas that are generally warm in temperature.

A wild lilac-breasted roller weighs around 0.22-0.24 lb (104-110 g) and grows to 14-15 in (36-38 cm) in length. They are undoubtedly one of the most gorgeous birds in the world, with a combination of eight attractive colors.

Their head is green and white and they have a lilac throat, dark blue tail, and bluish feathers with pink feet. They generally find their home on tall trees that are safe from predators and they prey on grasshoppers, beetles, and small amphibians as they are carnivorous birds.

Their breeding season differs based on the different regions the bird resides in.

A female lilac-breasted roller lays between two and four eggs at a time, and both parents have to participate equally for an incubation period of 22-24 days. Lilac-breasted rollers don't migrate much and are very defensive of their territory.

If you enjoy reading these facts, you can also check out our articles on the secretary bird or the red bat.

Lilac-Breasted Roller Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a lilac-breasted roller?

The lilac-throated roller belongs to the category of birds. The beautiful lilac-breasted roller is Kenya's national bird and is generally found in southern Africa (specifically northeastern South Africa near open woodlands areas and savanna). The lilac-breasted roller belongs to the Animalia kingdom and the Coraciidae family.

What class of animal does a lilac-breasted roller belong to?

Lilac-breasted rollers belong to the Aves class. The scientific name of the lilac-breasted roller is Coracias caudatus. Lilac-breasted rollers usually prefer living in warm areas of Europe, South Africa, and Australia. They are also known by the name fork-tailed roller.

How many lilac-breasted rollers are there in the world?

There has been no specific study conducted regarding the exact population of lilac-breasted rollers. The lilac-breasted roller is Kenya's national bird and is usually found in southern parts of Africa.

The population of the lilac throated roller is stable according to its conservation status by the IUCN and lilac-breasted rollers are one of the most beautiful birds in the world.

Where does a lilac-breasted roller live?

Lilac-breasted rollers prefer warm areas for living. That is the main reason why they live in woodland and savanna regions. The lilac-breasted roller is very territorial and is also thought to be monogamous.

They are one of the most beautiful birds, and you can also see them in numerous national parks. This African wild bird selects a tall tree or pole that can serve as a perch. They eat small prey on the ground but bring large prey back to their perch.

What is a lilac-breasted roller's habitat?

The lilac-breasted roller, also known as the fork-tailed roller, is the national bird of Kenya, but it originated from South Africa. It can also be found in Europe, Asia, Australia, and the islands of the South Pacific, as well as in Africa.

The typical lilac-breasted roller habitat consists of open woodland or scattered trees and savannah regions, bushy game lands, and areas with well-spaced trees.

Lilac-breasted rollers are very protective over their territory and don't like migration. They select tall trees or poles for nesting and some lilac-breasted rollers even nest in old termite mounds.

They have a fork-structured tail and dark blue wings. The lilac-breasted roller is known to be one of the most appealing birds to look at. They prey on arthropods and small animals like scorpions, snails, spiders, and generally small insects.

They consume small insects or animals on the ground and take large prey back to their perch (on the tops of trees). The lilac-breasted roller prefers nesting at the top of trees, poles, and other high vantage points so that they can spot insects, lizards, and other invertebrates easily.

Who do lilac-breasted rollers live with?

Lilac-breasted rollers choose warmer areas for living. Southern Africa is known for the presence of this beautiful bird and, whilst this bird comes under the category of small birds who generally live in pairs or small groups, the lilac-breasted roller species usually prefer living alone.

How long does a lilac-breasted roller live?

The life span of this super cute bird is about 10 years. This national bird of Kenya doesn't partake in migration, instead, these small African birds do their own nesting and live in warm areas such as woodlands and scattered trees. They rely on preying on small vertebrates to survive.

How do they reproduce?

The lilac-breasted roller is said to be monogamous, which means they mate with only one partner at a time. Lilac-breasted rollers during a courtship flight, first fly upwards then tip forward with their wings closed before flapping their wings to gain speed towards the ground.

Both male and femalelilac-breasted rollers are equally responsible for protecting the nest. One of the pairs will fly round and round of the nest to distract the predators.

The breeding season takes place at different times in different areas. Roller birds usually build their nest 16 feet above the ground.

Female Lilac-Breasted Roller lays two to four eggs per breeding season, and both male and female bird supports during the incubating period of 22 to 24 days. Chicks are born helpless and usually start getting feathers in 18-20 days.

What is their conservation status?

The population of lilac birds is stable and they are not endangered. It falls under the category of Least Concern as listed by the IUCN.

Lilac-Breasted Roller Fun Facts

What do lilac-breasted rollers look like?

The lilac-breasted roller (Coracias) is a bird species from eastern and southern Africa that is also known as the fork-tail roller and the lilac roller. They have eight colors on their bodies, namely green, white, black, yellow, turquoise, dark blue, reddish-brown, and lilac.

They have a skin type which is a mixture of fur and feathers. The lilac roller is a beautiful bird with a green head, lilac and white throat, and pink legs.

Both males and females of these birds have the same color combination and this species weighs about 0.22-0.24 lb (104-110 g) and is 14-15 in (36-38 cm) in length. Their wings are 19.7-22.8 in (50-58 cm) wide.

This is an African wild bird generally found in warm areas that currently has a stable population. Its tail and feathers help the lilac-breasted roller in flight and they prey on small insects and build their nest approximately 16 ft from the ground.

The lilac-breasted roller is truly one of the most vibrant birds ever!

How cute are they?

The lilac-breasted roller bird is one the cutest, most attractive birds in the wild. They are pleasing to look at with their lilac breast and colorful bodies, even if they are just resting. Watching the lilac-breasted roller fly as if it were performing acrobatics with its wings is a truly beautiful sight.

How do they communicate?

They are very loud birds. A typical lilac-breasted roller call sounds like 'rak-rak-rak' or 'zaaaaaak'. They are loud both during the breeding season and when protecting their territories. They also communicate with their partners about food and nesting.

How big is a lilac-breasted roller?

They are about 14-15 in (36-38 cm) long. They are four to five times bigger than a sparrow.

How fast can a lilac-breasted roller fly?

During flight, the lilac-breasted roller can achieve a considerable speed which helps them perform their acrobatic flying tricks. However, the precise speed of these birds has not been recorded yet.

How much does a lilac-breasted roller weigh?

The average weight of a lilac-breasted roller is about 0.22-0.24 lb (104-110 g).

What are their male and female names of the species?

There is no specific name for male and female lilac-breasted rollers.

What would you call a baby lilac-breasted roller?

Baby lilac-breasted rollers are known as 'chicks'. They are born helpless and start becoming adults after a period of 18-24 days.

What do they eat?

Lilac-breasted rollers are carnivores, and they usually prey on grasshoppers, beetles, spiders, scorpions, and occasionally lizards, crabs, arthropods, and small amphibians. They swallow small insect-like creatures on the ground and usually take big prey back to their nest.

How high can they fly?

They can fly up to 33 ft (10 m). Interestingly, they mate during their flights which makes flying an important feature for them.

Would they make a good pet?

Whilst they are not a common pet, you can have these birds as a pet.

They are birds who need a warm temperature and an open place to live and the lilac-breasted roller diet will be among the many important things you have to take care of if you own this bird as they are carnivores and their diet involves lots of small animals.

A lilac-breasted roller pet is certainly one of the most colorful pets to have!

Did you know...

Let's check out some of the best lilac-breasted roller bird facts! For example, Kenya considers lilac-breasted rollers to be their national bird, that's how breathtakingly beautiful they are.

When it comes to the name of the lilac-breasted roller, in Swahili they are simply called 'kambu'.

Although the lilac-breasted roller is unique by itself, they have another sub-species called the blue-breasted roller.

Their courtship session happens in flight involving a spectacular display of acrobatics.

Sometimes lilac-breasted rollers are spotted near brush fires. Brush fires are fires that farmers set on agricultural land. These fires attract tiny insects that the lilac-breasted roller preys on.

Do lilac-breasted rollers migrate?

Whilst some lilac-breasted rollers in some areas do migrate, many don't and are very protective about their territories.

The lilac-breasted roller is the national bird of what country?

As mentioned above, the lilac-breasted roller is Kenya's national bird, but they are not exclusive to Kenya; they can also be found in the wild and in many national parks worldwide.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds, including the frigate bird or the hawk.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our lilac-breasted roller coloring pages.

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Written by Divya Raghav

Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Accounting and Finance, Master of Business Administration

Divya Raghav picture

Divya RaghavBachelor of Commerce specializing in Accounting and Finance, Master of Business Administration

With a diverse range of experience in finance, administration, and operations, Divya is a diligent worker known for her attention to detail. Born and raised in Bangalore, she completed her Bachelor's in Commerce from Christ University and is now pursuing an MBA at Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Bangalore. Along with her professional pursuits, Divya has a passion for baking, dancing, and writing content. She is also an avid animal lover who dedicates her time to volunteering for animal welfare causes.

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Fact-checked by Deeti Gupta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

Deeti Gupta picture

Deeti GuptaBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

A detail-oriented fact-checker with a research-oriented approach. Devika has a passion for creative writing, she has been published on multiple digital publishing platforms and editorials before joining the Kidadl team. Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from St.Xavier's College, Deeti has won several accolades and writing competitions throughout her academic career.

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