Indian Roller Facts

Interesting Indian roller facts for kids.

Indian rollers are brightly colored birds with various shades of blue on their tail, wings, and belly, with a brown texture in their breast. It is a roller family bird which is scientifically known as Coracias benghalensis. The Dollar bird and European roller are the same species as the Indian roller. As the name suggests itself, they are mostly found in India. They are distributed across the continent of south and central west Asia, from the United Arab Emirates through the Indian sub-continent, including Sri Lanka, Lakshadweep islands. They prefer thin forests, grasslands, and cultivated areas.

The name of the roller is influenced by the aerobatic displays performed by the male roller during the breeding season. The roller family is also identified as a stocky bird, and locally known as Neelkanth in India. The roller bird generally weighs between 160-176 g with a length of between 9-10 in (25-27 cm). They nest in tree holes created by woodpeckers or wood insects. Indian rollers are commonly found perched on tree branches, and also on telegraphic wires and electric wires in urban areas. They are non-migratory birds. Read on for more fascinating facts about this bird.

To discover other bird species similar to Indian rollers, you may want to check out the lilac-breasted roller and Nicobar pigeon.

Indian Roller

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Grasshoppers, insects, termites, flies, frogs

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

Up to 5 eggs

How much do they weigh?

160-176 g

How long are they?

9-10 in (25-27 cm)

How tall are they?

3-9 m

What do they look like?

Light blue, turquoise, olive green, purple-blue, brown

Skin Type


What are their main threats?

Deforestation, roadside traffic collision

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them

Iraq to United Arab Emirates through the Indian sub-continent including Maldives islands, Sri Lanka, Lakshadweep Islands


Open grassland, forest, tropical southern Asia





Scientific Name

Coracias benghalensis





Indian Roller Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an Indian roller?

The Indian roller belongs to the family of birds.

What class of animal does an Indian roller belong to?

The Indian roller, Coracias benghalensis, belongs to the Aves class of animals.

How many Indian rollers are there in the world?

The total population of the bird is unknown. Given their low major threats, their population is ongoing and within or more than its required number.

Where does an Indian roller live?

Indian roller, Coracias benghalensis, generally live in rotten tree holes for their easy and safe nesting. They highly favor nesting on tree holes created by woodpeckers or wood insects.

What is an Indian roller's habitat?

The blue-colored Indian roller habitat mostly consists of a tropical climate, along with deciduous forests and grasslands. They are often found dwelling in wide-open cultivated areas too. Today, you may spot them perched in electric wires in urban settings. The Indian roller in particular is mostly found in Asia, whereas the European roller is mostly found in central Asia, Middle East, Morocco, including European regions.

Who do Indian rollers live with?

As a solitary bird, this blue tail and brown breast bird, also commonly known as a stocky bird, prefer to stay by themselves. But during the breeding season, this bird usually stays in pairs to incubate the eggs, since both the male and female Indian roller equally takes responsibility. The young roller then leaves the nest within a month of its birth.

How long does an Indian roller live?

The Indian roller bird has a lifespan of up to 17 years.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding season generally begins after spring and early summer, which is between March to June. The mating process of this blue roller is quite unknown. They are monogamous and have only one mating partner. During the breeding season, the males perform aerobatic displays, which is an act of courtship. The males make their display by bowing, wing drooping, allopreening, along with tail fanning. The female roller lays up to five eggs, which are white, nearly spherical, and broad oval in shape. Both the parents incubate the eggs for around 17-19 days until they hatch. The chicks then leave the nest within a month, after the eggs hatch.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the India roller is of Least Concern since their population is intact and have no major threats. However, Northern India has observed a decline in their population due to a high number of traffic collisions.

Indian Roller Fun Facts

What do Indian rollers look like?

The Indian roller, a family of birds mostly found in Asia, is a colorful bird, best known for its aerobatic displays during the breeding season. You can easily identify the colorful blue roller with all the unique features that they acquire. The dominance of the brown color is what distinguishes the Indian roller from the European roller. The rollers have sky blue tails, olive green central distributions, and brown breast, which makes them fairly unique from other bird species. This unique color of theirs is widely visible when in flight. They are short and stumpy birds that perched on trees and wires while they prey on grounds. Their deep grayish-brown eyes compliment the beauty of the Indian roller.

Indian rollers are detailed color birds.

How cute are they?

Being a colorful bird is an attribute to their cuteness. No doubt these bird species are attractive to look at and fluffy to touch.

How do they communicate?

This bird species communicates with each other using crow-like harsh sounds. Apart from this, they make varieties of sound as their means of communication, including metallic 'boink' calls, which are mostly heard during the breeding sound.

How big is an Indian roller?

The typical Indian roller in India has a length between 9-10 in (25-27 cm), with a wingspan of 26-29 in (65-74 cm). They are known to be 10 times bigger than a sparrow.

How fast can an Indian roller fly?

The flight speed of the bird is unknown. Being a non-migratory bird, they are bound to have a moderate flying speed. However, they have a long wingspan which also indicates that they are capable of flying at good speed especially when preying.

How much does an Indian roller weigh?

Indian rollers are a medium-sized bird species, that generally weigh between 160-176 g.

What are their male and female names of the species?

No separate name has been used to describe the males and females of the species.

What would you call a baby Indian roller?

As a family of birds, a baby Indian roller is commonly known as a chick.

What do they eat?

Being a carnivorous bird, the Indian roller diet generally includes small snakes, insects, frogs, scorpions, and other amphibians. They hunt for their food while perching on trees and wires.

How high can they fly?

These birds are often seen perched in 3-9 m high tree branches or wires. This indicates that they aren't capable of flying high above 12-15 m being a medium-sized bird.

Would they make a good pet?

Yes, this bird species would definitely make a good pet. On the other hand, their preference for open areas, thin forests, and grasslands with tree holes as their nesting shows that having them caged would not be a great idea.

Did you know...

The Indian roller bird follows tractors to feed on disturbed invertebrates and they are highly attracted to fire and swarms of termites.

This bird is also known as the blue jay bird.

In summer, they are bound to feed late in the evening, while making use of artificial lights and feed on insects that are attracted to them.

The rollers bathe by plunge-diving into open water.

Some dance forms in India or Asia as a whole have been derived from the aerobatic displays of male rollers.

In India, adding chopped feathers of the bird to grass while feeding them to cows was believed to increase the milk yield of the cow.

What is the Indian roller associated with?

The Indian roller, locally known as Neelkanth in India, is associated with the Hindu Lord Shiva, where the bird stopped at his neck when he drank poison and resulted in a blue neck.

The Indian roller is the national bird of which Indian states?

The Indian roller has been named as the state bird of several states in India, including Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha, and Karnataka.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including hermit thrush, or blue grosbeak.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our lilac-breasted roller coloring pages.



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