A project of the SRITA Association

European roller

The European roller (Coracias garrulus) is a bird species in the order of Coraciiformes, family of Coraciidae. It nests in Europe, Asia and Africa. It is widespread in Romania, prefering open lowland areas, meadows, orchards. It is a migratory bird, being present in Romania between the months of April and September.

The body length is 30-32 cm, wingspan 66-73 cm, weight 120-160 grams. There is no sexual dimorphysm, the feathers of male and female are identical. It has a colorful plumage which makes it easily recognizable. The head, wings and underparts are blue, the back is brownish, the eye stripe is black.

It builds its nest in tree wholes, cracks, in loess walls. The female lays 4-6 eggs, the chicks hatch in 18-19 days and leave the nest in 26-28 days.  The european rollers feed on insects, lizards, frogs, small rodents and parts of plants.

The specie is categorized as near threatened on the Red List of IUCN. The European population is estimated to 55-117 thousand nesting pairs. The population is decreasing, it is no longer resident in Denmark, Germany or Switzerland. In Romania the population is estimated to 4600-6500 pairs, but their number is decreasing. The oldest ringed European roller was 8 years old.