Indian Roller (species: Coracias benghalensis) in taxonomy (Gaia Guide)
Coracias benghalensis
Indian Roller

©Sammy Sam: Indian Roller (Coracias benghalensis)

©Koshy Koshy: Indian Roller (Coracias benghalensis)

©J.M. Garg: Immature Indian Roller (Coracias benghalensis)
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Coraciiformes
Family Coraciidae
Genus Coracias
Species Coracias benghalensis



Distinguishing features

The Indian Roller is a stocky bird that can only be confused within its range with the migratory European Roller. 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. They 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. (Wikipedia)


  • Up to 27 cm (Length of specimen)


  • Wingspan data is not yet available.



©Ulrich Prokop: Global distribution

Distribution and habitat preferences

They are found widely across tropical Asia stretching from Iraq eastward across the Indian Subcontinent to Indochina.

They are very commonly seen perched along roadside trees and wires and are commonly seen in open grassland and scrub forest habitats. It is not migratory, but undertakes some seasonal movements. (Wikipedia)


They are best known for the aerobatic displays of the male during the breeding season. (Wikipedia)


Nearly 50% of their prey are beetles and 25% made up by grasshoppers and crickets. (Wikipedia)

Web resources