Racket-tailed Roller | Coracias spatulatus

Robert's Birding Information: Rackettailed Roller

The Racket-tailed Roller is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Coraciidae bird family group which includes birds such as Typical Rollers.

The description for the Racket-tailed Roller (Latin name Coracias spatulatus) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Coracias spatulatus can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 448 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 170. You will find a picture of the Racket-tailed Roller on page 192.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. The Latin name for this bird is Coracias spatulata in the Roberts 6th Edition.

The Racket-tailed Roller is known in Afrikaans as Knopsterttroupant.

The Racket-tailed Roller has a height of 30 cms and weighs around 100 gms. The head is coloured green, brown while the bill is coloured black. The Coracias spatulatus has a azure coloured throat, grey legs and a olive coloured back. The eyes are brown.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is green, brown.

Eyes are brown.

Bill is black.

Legs are grey.

Throat is azure.

Back is olive.

Racket Tailed Roller Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground.

The Coracias spatulatus attacks its prey aerially and feeds on wing or takes the prey to a secluded venue where it is killed, torn into small pieces and eaten.

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten.

Rackettailed Roller Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Racket-tailed Roller is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 2 to 3 eggs and they are coloured white.

The bird builds its nest within a tree cavity just a few meters above the ground. The hole in the tree is normally reused in the next nesting season.

The Racket-tailed Roller is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Racket-tailed Roller is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.

This bird is usually seen in small family groups or in large flocks.