Blue-bellied roller in exhibit

Blue-bellied Roller

Scientific Name
Coracias cyanogaster
Geographic Range
Central and West Africa
Grasshoppers and other large insects
Blue-bellied roller in exhibit Endangered Status Graph - Least Concern Endangered Status Graph - Least Concern

About This Animal

Blue-bellied rollers are stocky birds with short legs, about 10 inches in length. They are distinguished by their cream-colored head and neck and a brownish back, with royal blue breast, wings, and tail. They are somewhat social and can often be found in pairs or trios with other pairs nearby. Blue-bellied rollers build nests in tree cavities high above the ground and have 2–4 eggs per clutch. Incubation lasts 22–24 days. Once hatched, the young fledge after a month and become independent soon afterward.

Did You Know?

  • Blue-bellied rollers are ambush predators. They usually hunt from a perching position and dive to ambush insects on the ground.
  • They are named for their courtship behavior, which includes a dive with aerial somersaults. Mated pairs sometimes do this together.
  • Some populations are decreasing due to deforestation, but these birds have a wide distribution overall.



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We cooperate with other members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to manage the zoo population of this species through a Species Survival Plan®.

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