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Indian Roller - BirdForum Opus

Subspecies C. b. benghalensis
Photo © by Mike Barth
Dubai, UAE, August 2010
Coracias benghalensis


30-34cm (11¾-13¼)

  • Brown back
  • Lilac breast and face
  • Blue crown, wings, tail and belly
  • Outer tail feathers are divided into three parts, purplish blue near tip and near rump separated by bright greenish-blue

Sexes are similar
Juvenile is a drabber version of the adult.

Similar species

Indochinese Roller is darker with more purplish-blue on throat and folded wing, but lacking the band near the tip of outer tail feathers.


Juvenile, nominate subspecies
Photo © by Alok Tewari
Gurgaon Rural, Haryana, India, August-2015
Subspecies benghalensis
Photo © by Dave 2x
Wamm Farms, UAE, December 2016

Middle East and Asia:
Middle East: Arabian Peninsula, Saudi Arabia, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Iran
Asia: Afghanistan,
South Asia: Pakistan, India, Eastern Himalayas, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan



Two subspecies are recognized[1]:

  • C. b. benghalensis:
  • C. b. indicus:

Indochinese Roller was recently split from Indian Roller.


Open country, pasture and stubble, plantations and palm groves.



Diet includes large insects, such as grasshoppers, crickets and earwigs, beetles, moths and wasps; also smaller reptiles like lizards and frogs.


Subspecies indicus
Photo © by S K Gudi
Hubli, Karnataka, India, December 2017

They nest in a lined hole in a tree or building, and lays about 3-5 eggs.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. TrekNature
  3. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved April 2015)

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