Fun Cuckoo Roller Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Cuckoo Roller Facts For Kids

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The Leptosomidae cuckoo roller is an Old World species of bird that belongs to the family Leptosomidae. They are also known by their French name, 'courol'. This family of birds is classified into three subspecies. The history of the cuckoo roller range map covers Madagascar and the Comoro and Mayotte Islands situated along the coast of Africa. These birds are distinguished by their zygodactyl arrangement of feet and the position of their eyes on their gray head. They search for their prey from high altitudes in the forest canopy.

These birds are usually monogamous and have one partner throughout their lives. After mating, females lay around four to five eggs and incubate them for the next 20 days. Males are involved in defending the territory from intruders. The chicks leave the nest after a span of 30 days after birth.  The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List has listed the cuckoo roller as a species of Least Concern. The destruction of their habitat and climate change are the major threats encountered by their population.

Keep on reading this article to explore more about the Leptosomidae cuckoo roller. If you liked reading this article, then you can also explore these facts about the eagle and the hawk.

Fun Cuckoo Roller Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Grasshoppers, cockroaches, mantises, and chameleons

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

5.6-10.6 oz (160-301 g)

How long are they?

17 in (43 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Black, gray, white, green, brown

Skin Type


What were their main threats?

Humans And Predators

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them?

Rainforests, Deciduous Forests, And Tree Plantations


Madagascar And The Comoro And Mayotte Islands









Cuckoo Roller Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a cuckoo roller?

The cuckoo roller (Leptosomus discolor) is a species of bird belonging to the family Leptosomidae. It is an Old World bird that belongs to the order Leptosomiformes and is classified into three subspecies.

What class of animal does a cuckoo roller belong to?

This Old World species of bird belongs to the class Aves.

How many cuckoo rollers are there in the world?

The exact population of this Old World species of bird is not known. However, it can be concluded from records in history, that they now have a decreasing population.

Where does a cuckoo roller live?

Their population is mostly found in the islands situated off the coast of Africa. These birds reside in Madagascar which is an island country in the Indian Ocean, near the coast of east Africa. One of the subspecies inhabits the Comoro Islands situated to the northwest of Madagascar and to the east of Mozambique. It is a large group of islands located near the southeastern coast of Africa. They also inhabit the Mayotte Islands in the Indian Ocean.

What is a cuckoo roller's habitat?

These Old World birds are found in rainforests and littoral forests. Their rainforest habitat comprises evergreen trees, a thick canopy, and plenty of rainfall throughout the year. Littoral forests, also known as swamp or wetland forests, are found near the shore. This bird has a coastal habitat that comprises trees like pines, mangroves, and palms. Their population is mostly found up to an elevation of 6725.7 ft (2050 m) from sea level.

Who does a cuckoo roller live with?

These birds from the order Leptosomiformes stay in pairs throughout the year.

How long does a cuckoo roller live?

Like other roller birds, their average lifespan can be assumed to be somewhere around 10 years.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding season of this species from the order Leptosomiformes ranges from mid-September to December. These birds are known to be monogamous, having a single partner throughout their lives. The male bird performs courtship displays, vocalizes its mating calls, and defends the territory during the breeding season. After mating, the female bird lays between four and five eggs and incubates them for a span of 20 days with both parents taking care of the young bird!

What is their conservation status?

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List has listed the cuckoo roller (Leptosomus discolor) as a species with a Least Concern status. Yet, this Least Concern status of the population is being threatened and may soon become history due to the destruction of their habitat and climate change.

Cuckoo Roller Fun Facts

What do cuckoo rollers look like?

The cuckoo roller (Leptosomus discolor) or the courol (the French name of this bird), belonging to the order Leptosomiformes, exhibits sexual dimorphism as males and females of the species differ in their appearance. One of the distinguishing features of this species is the location of its eyes, which are situated far back on the face. Males have greyish heads with black stripes running across the eyes. Their underparts are white in color with greenish upperparts. The tail and coverts are dark green with purple shades. Females have a brownish plumage. They are heavily spotted on their brown underside which is one of the distinguishing features of females of this species. A black bill and dark brown iris are both common features of both sexes of the species. They have zygodactyl feet, with two toes facing forward and two facing back. Young birds look similar to females.

coast of Africa

We've been unable to source an image of a cuckoo roller and have used an image of its habitat. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of a cuckoo roller, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at [email protected].

How cute are they?

Their cuteness usually stems from their appearance. The presence of black eye stripes, a black bill, zygodactyl feet, and a brown iris make these birds super cute.

How do they communicate?

These birds, belonging to the family Leptosomidae, communicate through a range of audio vocalizations. Cuckoo roller singing is usually heard seasonally or during the nighttime. Their songs during flight include a series of flute-like whistles which slowly descend in pitch. One of their calls sounds similar to that of the woodpecker. The audio sounds like 'woe-we-we-war' or a low-pitched 'riew-puppup'. The audio of the alarm call is quite distinctive and sounds like 'wheeu' or 'pup'. Some of their songs begin with a trill and end on a harsh note. Females and young birds utter a snoring sound.

How big is a cuckoo roller?

The cuckoo roller (Leptosomus discolor), belonging to the order Leptosomiformes, is 17 in (43 cm) in length. It is larger than the black-billed cuckoo, which is 11-12.6 in (28-32 cm) in length.

How fast can a cuckoo roller move?

Not much is known about their speed during flight other than the fact that these birds fly at a slow pace by stretching their broad wings.

How much does a cuckoo roller weigh?

The cuckoo roller bird, belonging to the order Leptosomiformes, weighs around 5.6-10.6 oz (160-301 g). It is heavier than a yellow-billed cuckoo.

What are the male and female names of the species?

A male of the species is called a 'cock' and a female is called a 'hen'.

What would you call a baby cuckoo roller?

A baby cuckoo roller is known as a 'chick'.

What do they eat?

This carnivorous species of birds, belonging to the order Leptosomiformes, feeds on a large variety of insects. Their diet includes mantises, caterpillars, cockroaches, chameleons, and grasshoppers. They are fed corned beef, poultry, and fish in captivity. In the wild, they search for their prey while perching on trees.

Are they poisonous?

No, these birds are not known to be poisonous.

Would they make a good pet?

Yes, this bird species can make a good pet. They are relatively easily tamed and have an attractive appearance.

Did you know...

Their foraging behavior can be described as 'perch-and-sally'.

There isn't any major cuckoo roller disease or illness that we know of, however, they might get parasitic infections from the Aproctella family.

Are they endangered?

No, these birds do not have an endangered status. However, their population trend appears to be decreasing. The destruction of their habitat and climate change are becoming major threats to their population.

How is a cuckoo roller different from other roller birds?

The cuckoo roller species was previously placed in the order Coraciiformes, but their species differs from that of ground rollers and true rollers. Cuckoo rollers have semi-zygodactyl feet while true rollers have an anisodactyl arrangement of feet, where two toes are directed backward and three toes face forward. Their population also differs from true and ground rollers in terms of their hunting behavior. They search for prey from a higher elevation on the canopy than other rollers.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our parrot facts and hummingbird facts pages.

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

Written By
Moumita Dutta

<p>A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.</p>

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