Home | Description | Distribution | Behaviour

Indian roller


The Indian roller (Coracias benghalensis) is a bird of the family Coraciidae, the rollers. It occurs widely from West Asia to the Indian Subcontinent. It is listed as least concern on the IUCN Red List.
It is best known for its aerobatic displays of males during the breeding season. It is often seen perched along roadside trees and wires and are commonly seen in open grassland and scrub forest habitats. The largest population occurs in India, and several states in India have chosen it as their state bird.
Two subspecies are recognized:
C. b. benghalensis - (Linnaeus, 1758): occurs from eastern Arabia to north-eastern India and Bangladesh
Southern roller (C. b. indicus) - Linnaeus, 1766: Originally described as a separate species. It occurs in central and southern India, Sri Lanka
The call of the Indian roller is a harsh crow-like chack sound. It also makes a variety of other sounds, including metallic boink calls. It is especially vociferous during the breeding season.
The bird bathes in open water by plunge-diving into it, a behaviour often interpreted as fishing. But it may occasionally attempt fishing from water.
Blood parasites Leucocytozoon of the family Plasmodiidae have been noted in the lung tissues. Parasitic helminth worms Hadjelia truncata and Synhimantus spiralis were recorded as well.