The Lilac-breasted Roller is one of the most colorful and most commonly seen birds in Kruger National Park, South Africa. It is usually see n perched on a branch six to ten feet above the ground where it visually searches its surroundings for a jui
cy insect. When one is spotted it flies down grabs its treat and flies back to its branch.
The lilac-breasted roller is usually found singly or in pairs in a wide variety of dry woodlands and in habitats away from water. Their diet consists of insects including grasshoppers, crickets, butterflies, lizards, small snakes, frogs, birds, rodents and beetles using a “sit and wait” technique. They will sometimes grab their prey in flight. All rollers are masters of flight, cannot walk, and are reluctant to hop on the ground. They tend to fly from perch to perch.
They are generally silent except during breeding season when their call becomes loud and harsh during their inflight displays to attract a mate. They get their name from the specular display flights that they exhibit during the breeding season. These include rapid rolling tilts from side to side at speed, barrel-rolls, somersaulting and looping the loop all while calling. They are Monogamous and very territorial with nests in natural tree cavities or sometimes larger woodpecker holes.
Like Impala, you will not miss seeing lilac-breasted rollers on any trip into Kruger National Park.