Blue-bellied roller

Latin Name
Coracias cyanogaster

Class
Birds

Order
Coraciiformes

Description

Named for their colorful stomachs, blue-bellied rollers have cream-colored heads and chests, darker wings and a vibrant, slightly forked tail. The birds can reach 12 inches in length and average 5 ounces in weight.


 

Range

Native to western and central Africa


Status

Blue-bellied rollers are considered a species of least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.


Habitat

Wooded savannas and forest edges


Niche

This striking species feeds primarily on large insects. They’re known to dive to the forest floor in pursuit of prey. They’ll also travel to the boundaries of fires to capture insects fleeing the flames.


Life History

Males establish breeding territories to try to attract females. Breeding displays include loud calls and tumbling flights through the air (the “rolling” that gives the species its name).

Breeding occurs from April to July, with the female typically laying two–three eggs. Parents share the responsibility of incubating eggs and feeding hatchlings until juveniles become independent, typically 40 days after the hatch.




Lincoln Park Zoo Exhibit