(European) Roller (Coracias garrulus) Rolieiro-comum

Arriving from sub-Saharan Africa to breed during the second half of April, this colourful species is present on the Alentejan Plains till late August. Nesting predominantly in tree-holes, it has been aided in recent years by increased awareness shown by Man and his strategically placed nest boxes leading to a small but marked increase in numbers in our area, especially in the 2020's. 

Rollers prefer open country where they perch in the open before swooping down onto  - normally - lizards, ground beetles and other large insects, though I have observed them catching large beetles in flight.

Their name originates from their display flight which is spectacular; a sharp and sudden rise to 100-150 feet followed by a dive to the ground with a lateral rolling of the body with a harsh mating call, "krak, krah, krarrk".

Birding in Portugal

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