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Bird of the Week

Bird of the Week: Indian Roller


This week’s Bird of the Week is….the indian roller.

I’ve been doing some slightly dour birds the last couple weeks, so I felt like it was time to change things up and go for the spectacular. And my oh my is this bird spectacular. Look at it.

Credit: Koshy Koshy/Flickr

There are creatures on the planet that look like that, just hopping around being indian rollers. Evolution is a hell of a thing. Let’s do another picture.

Credit: amitmoholkar/Flickr

Astonishing. The indian roller, you will not be shocked to hear, is found all over India. It is the state bird of three different Indian states (they copy each other too!) According to the experts (Wikipedia) it apparently used to be called a blue jay during colonial times, but now the Brits have been vanquished back to their crumpet-strewn gloom dungeons and the proper name has been bestowed. That or there was a trademark dispute with the other blue jay.

According to some other experts (a website called Animal Stratosphere), the roller is also found “all the way from Iraq and the United Arab Emirates to southwestern Asia and the Indian Subcontinent”; is a medium-sized bird; and is very big on eating stuff (emphasis theirs):

 If they spot prey, they will dive towards it and capture it with their large bills which include a hooked tip.

One of the most remarkable Indian Roller facts is that they eat a wide variety of small animals as well. These may include numerous insects, spiders, small snakes, amphibians, and even scorpions!

If you’re a small animal crawling on the ground, then you’re definitely not safe from these predators.

According to some other experts (a website called Animal Spot), the roller is not into large hangouts:

It is quite rare for the Indian Roller to fly in groups. However they do have family groups and are observed to communicate with each other in ‘chack’ calls or sounds. The ‘chack’ sound is also associated with crows. Apart from this harsh call the Indian roller also produces metallic boink sounds.

Metallic boink sounds! Is that the scientific term?

But I haven’t even gotten to the best part of this bird: what it looks like when it spreads its wings. PREPARE TO GASP.

Credit: Koshy Koshy/Flickr


Credit: Austin Adventures/Flickr


Credit: Venkat Mangudi/Flickr

GASP. You better be gasping too, or else get outta this post.

Here’s a video of the flying.

Thanks for being you, indian roller.