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Indian roller

Coracias benghalensis

Foto: Indian roller
Váhy a míry
Délka od 26 do 27 cm
Stav ohrožení
Popis zvířete
The Indian Roller (Coracias benghalensis), a bird whose vibrant hues captivate the eye, is a member of the roller family of birds. This species, named for its breathtaking aerial acrobatics during the breeding season, including rolls and dives that showcase its stunning plumage, is a spectacle of nature's artistry. It is predominantly found across a wide range in the Indian subcontinent, stretching towards parts of Southeast Asia, making its presence known from the agricultural fields and open grasslands to the edges of urban areas.

An adult Indian Roller is a medium-sized bird, measuring about 26–27 cm in length, with a robust body and a wingspan that can reach up to 65–74 cm. The bird is most notable for its striking color palette; its back exhibits shades of brownish-purple, while the wings are a brilliant turquoise-blue, which becomes particularly vivid in flight. The throat and upper breast are a purplish lilac with a pale blue belly, and the tail is sky blue with a darker terminal band. These colors blend harmoniously, making the Indian Roller a living canvas that showcases the marvels of nature's design.

The Indian Roller's bill is robust and black, and its sharp, black eyes are keen and observant, reflecting a high degree of visual acuity that aids in hunting. Its legs are strong and short, supporting its terrestrial movements when it is not showcasing its mastery of the skies.

Primarily insectivorous, the Indian Roller's diet consists of beetles, grasshoppers, crickets, and occasionally small reptiles and amphibians. It typically hunts from a perch, displaying remarkable patience as it waits for prey before swooping down onto the ground with impressive precision.

Breeding season, which generally spans from March to June, sees the Indian Roller engaging in its most flamboyant behavior. The aerial displays, coupled with a variety of calls – ranging from harsh cries to chattering notes – serve as a means to attract mates and assert territory. Nests are often made in the natural cavities of trees or in human-made structures, where the female lays a clutch of 3-5 eggs. Both parents are involved in the incubation process, which lasts about 17 to 20 days, and in the nurturing of the chicks.

The Indian Roller is deeply woven into the cultural fabric of the Indian subcontinent. It is the state bird of Karnataka, Odisha, and Telangana in India. Moreover, its arrival and presence have been linked with good luck and prosperity, embedding it deeply in the folklore and traditions of the regions it inhabits.

Despite facing threats from habitat destruction and the use of pesticides that diminish its food sources, the Indian Roller has managed to maintain a stable population, thanks in part to its adaptability and the wide range of habitats it can call home. This resilience, combined with its breathtaking beauty and intriguing behaviors, makes the Indian Roller a cherished species and a symbol of the natural heritage of the regions it graces with its presence.
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Foto: Indian roller - výskyt
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