Purple Roller ( Coracias naevius, family: Coraciidae)

purple roller kruger national park birds The Purple Roller (Latin name Coracias naevius) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 449 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 171 also a picture of the Purple Roller on page 192. The Purple Roller belongs to the family of birds classified as Coraciidae. According to the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology the Purple Roller is also known by these other names: Rufous-crowned Roller, Mozambique Roller.

The Robert's 7 Latin name for Purple Roller has changed from Coracias naevia in Robert's 6 to Coracias naevius

The map of the Kruger you see on this page shows the areas (coloured orange) where this bird has been identified.

The Purple Roller is neither Endemic or near Endemic to the Kruger National Park but is not all that common despite its wide range. It is not as colourful as it other roller bird cousins but is larger. Its underbody is lilac or purplish in colour and is also streaked with white as you can see in the image.

Purple Roller Kruger ParkYou will find the bird throughout the Kruger National Park

The height of the Purple Roller is about 40 cms and its weight is about 165 gms. This shot of the Purple Roller in a tree stump was taken at a spot close to Punda Maria camp on the morning walk.

The male and female Purple Roller have the same plumage and colours

  • Head is green.
  • Eye is brown.
  • Bill is black.
  • Throat is purple.
  • Back is blue.
  • Legs are brown.

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

The Purple Roller feeds on the ground, and on the wing mainly and eats insects and invertebrates.

The Purple Roller is monogamous unless its mate dies. In the event of a partner dying Coracias naevius will seek out a new mate

The nesting habit of Purple Roller is to create the nest in a hole in a tree trunk. The bird lays eggs which are white in colour and number between 2 to 4

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for Purple Roller are: woodlands and arid areas

You will not see Purple Roller in flocks. The bird prefers to act singly or in pairs.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Unknown

Zulu ... Unknown

Afrikaans ...Groottroupant

German ... Strichelracke

Portuguese ... Rolieiro-de-sobrancelhas-brancas

French ... Rollier vari

Dutch ... Roodkruinscharrelaar

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For in-depth birding information please refer to these authoritative avian references ...

Robert's 7th edition number ... 449

The main reference source for this data was "Roberts - Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition" . Other references were "Newmans Birds of the Kruger Park" by Keith Newman published circa 1980 . Names in foreign languages were obtained from the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town website , www.fitzpatrick.uct.ac.za