European Roller takes a break in Coimbatore during migration

The European Roller which was spotted in a farm on Annur - Mettupalayam road in Coimbatore district recently.  

A European Roller (Coracias garrulus), a passage migrant through the Indian sub-continent, was spotted near Coimbatore recently.

Coimbatore-based senior photographer T.R.A. Arunthavaselvan spotted and photographed the bird in a farm land on Annur-Mettupalayam road on October 18.

Mr. Arunthavaselvan received a call from his friend Jayaprakash on October 18 and the latter told him about a bird he had seen in a farm.

“He told me that it looked like Indian Roller (Coracias benghalensis) but small in size with more blue plumage. We visited the spot and observed it using binoculars. We could easily confirm that it was a European Roller from its distinct plumage, size and other characteristics,” said Mr. Arunthavaselvan, who also photographed the bird.

According to Mr. Arunthavaselvan, who is aged 71, European Roller’s head, neck and underparts are light blue whereas Indian Roller’s neck, back and underparts are brownish. It breeds in parts of Western Europe to Central Asia and it winters in Africa.

“European Roller do not migrate to Tamil Nadu. The individual spotted near Coimbatore could have made a halt during the migration to Africa, crossing Arabian Sea. It might remain here for a few days,” he said.

Mr. Arunthavaselvan said that the individual he spotted often changed its perch from slightly taller trees to electric pole during its flight for preys, mainly beetles.

“Many butterflies flew past the bird which did not catch them. It looked for beetles and grasshoppers,” said Mr. Arunthavaselvan, adding that the passage migrant has been sighted in some parts of Tamil Nadu before.

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2021 9:54:22 PM |

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