The Indian roller (Coracias benghalensis), is a stocky bird about 26–27 cm long. The breast is brownish and not blue as in the European Roller. The crown and vent are blue. The primaries are deep purplish blue with a band of pale blue. The tail is sky blue with a terminal band of Prussian blue and the central feathers are dull green. The neck and throat are purplish lilac with white shaft streaks. The bare patch around the eye is ochre in colour. The three forward toes are united at the base. Rollers have a long and compressed bill with a curved upper edge and a hooked tip. The nostril is long and exposed and there are long rictal bristles at the base of the bill.
Its a beautiful bird with vibrant dash of colours when it flies.
These birds can usually be seen perched on low bare branches and stumps of trees from where they descend to the ground to capture their prey which may include insects, arachnids, small reptiles, amphibians and even small snakes. This was clicked during one such sorties of this beautiful Roller to the ground in search of a prey.
Clicked at Dhikala Zone of Jim Corbett National Park, March 2015.
Nikon | 340 mm | f/6.7 | ISO 320 | 1/1250 seconds.