The Colorful Lilac-Breasted Roller
This amazing African bird is named for its color and its impressive moves.
Native to Africa, the lilac-breasted roller can be found throughout a large part of the African continent. They are so abundant in Kenya that they are the country’s national bird. This bird is also an important part of African folklore, and it has a very unique and colorful appearance. In fact, lilac-breasted rollers can have dazzling color combinations of up to eight colors, including dark blue, reddish brown, turquoise, yellow, green, and, of course, lilac.
The lilac-breasted roller gets part of its name from its pale purple coloring, but where does the roller part of the name come from? To impress females, males will perform flying tricks. One of these tricks is rolling from side to side while flying at high speeds and making loud cries.
Lilac-breasted rollers are also a key part of some African traditions. For example, one African tribe creates chains out of lilac-breasted roller feathers. When a couple wants to get married, they are tied together with one of these colorful chains. The chain tests their ability to work together. If it falls apart, then they can’t get married.