Lilac-Breasted Roller Bird: A Stunning Bird with Lilac Plumage on their Breasts.

Lilac Breasted Rollers, scientific name Coracias caudatus, are beautiful birds that should be on every birdwatcher’s list. There are so many interesting facts about the lilac-breasted roller that get overlooked, but you should know.

Here is a compellation of everything that you should know about this colorful bird.

This extensive list includes the lilac-breasted roller’s physical characteristics, what it eats, where it lives, and more. You will also find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the lilac-breasted rollers.


Unlike other bird species, both the male and female lilac-breasted roller Coracias caudatus have the same hue, color, and plumage. Their feathers are very similar to each other, so much so that it can be hard to tell the difference between males and females.

The feathers on these birds have a range of around eight colors. The most common color that the lilac-breasted roller Coracias cadatus is known for is, of course, lilac. Other colors include blue, violet, brown, black, white, green, and rusty red.

They have a wingspan of over 20 inches and grow to 15 inches in length, including their tail feather. They weigh under four ounces and can live to be over ten years old.

It might be easy to confuse these rollers with the blue breasted rollers, but you just have to remember that the lilac-breasted rollers have lilac, a light purple color, on their chests, not blue like the other rollers.

Additionally, the lilac-breasted rollers have blue and brown wings, white or gray on the top of their head, and light teal tailfeathers.

Food and Diet

Lilac rollers primarily eat small insects such as beetles, centipedes, grasshoppers, millipedes, scorpions, snails, spiders, and so on. They have also been known to eat chameleons, slow lizards, and snakes, too.

Habitat, Nesting, and Reproduction

These brave lilac-breasted rollers are not fearful of humans; however, they rarely stay near where humans live. They make their homes in grassland and open woodland areas.

They like to nest in trees that are well off the ground, and they typically mate for life. Their nests are often built-in holes of trees that are made by woodpeckers. Both the male and female lilac-breasted rollers are very territorial of their nests and homes.

Females will lay two to four eggs per year in one brood. The eggs incubate for just under a month, around 24 days.

Both parents will take part in incubating the eggs, and they share feeding duties once the eggs hatch. Hatchlings stay in the nest for up to 20 days. After that, the male continues to care for the female.

Migration Patterns

Unlike many bird species, the lilac-breasted roller does not commonly migrate north or south based on the season.

These throated roller birds are nomadic at best. They are only nomadic if they are in search of food like when there is a drought. Otherwise, they are content living where they’re born.

National Bird of Kenya

This bird is the perfect bird to represent the nation of Kenya. It was chosen to represent the country because of its numerous feather colors.

Although it’s technically the unofficial bird, Kenya’s people are happy to call the lilac-breasted roller Coracias caudatus theirs.

The different colors are representative of the large number of tribes that inhabit Kenya. Kenya celebrates the differences within the tribes. It is significant to note that the tribes are all people of one country just like this one bird has so many colors.

Conservations Efforts for the Species

The Coracias caudatus (lilac-breasted roller) is not on an endangered species list. This species is listed as one of “least concern” thanks to its stable population.

It is, however, important to continue conservation efforts to promote the success of the breasted roller.

If the natural habitat of the lilac-breasted roller Coracias caudatus is destroyed, then the birds’ population will dwindle.

Thanks to conservation efforts for the species and the national parks of Africa, the population can remain stable. With continued measures, it is believed that the species will thrive for years to come.

FAQ’s About the Lilac-Breasted Roller

1. What Other Names Does the Lilac-breasted Roller Go By?

Lilac-breasted roller birds go by more than one name. Its scientific name is Coracias caudatus. The most common name for this bird is a lilac-breasted roller, but it has a few other commonly known names, too.

Other names for the lilac-breasted roller include Mosilikatze’s Roller, Lilac-Throated Roller, Kambu, and Fork-Tailed Roller.

2. What Does the Lilac-breasted Roller Look Like?

These lilac rollers have feathers that range in a variety of eight colors. These colors include blue, lilac, violet, brown, black, white, green, and rusty red. The most notable of these colors are lilac.

They grow to around fifteen inches in length. Their long tail helps with its length as its tailfeathers are a medium length. Its wingspan can grow to over twenty inches in length.

3. Where Do They Live?

Native to Africa, these birds are most commonly found in southern Africa. This includes the countries of South Africa, Botswana, and Kenya.

It’s rare to see one of these birds in a highly-populated area. The most commonplace to spot one of these beauties is in a zoo, a sparsely populated area, or one of Africa’s national parks.

4. What is the Significance of the Lilac-Breasted Roller?

These colorful birds have eight different colors in their plumage. The significance of the colors represents the various tribes that make up the community of Kenya.

5. Is the Lilac-breasted Roller the National Bird of Kenya?

Yes, well, sort of. The lilac-breasted roller is recognized as the national bird of Kenya, although it’s unofficial. Additionally, it is also the unofficial national bird of Botswana.

6. Is the Lilac-breasted Roller an Endangered Species?

No. The lilac-breasted roller species are not listed as an endangered species; it is listed as “least concern” due to the birds’ population numbers. There are, however, conservation efforts being made to help preserve the bird’s habitat.

It is important to preserve the bird’s habitat so that the population of lilac-breasted roller Coracias caudatus can remain stable.

Julian Goldie - Owner of

Julian Goldie

I'm a bird enthusiast and creator of Chipper Birds, a blog sharing my experience caring for birds. I've traveled the world bird watching and I'm committed to helping others with bird care. Contact me at [email protected] for assistance.