The Coraciiformes are very colorful birds. They reside mainly in the Old World, but there are also some in the New World. Some include the hornbills and trogons in this order, but that will not be done here.

Families: Brachypteraciidae, Coraciidae, Leptosomidae, Phoeniculidae, Upupidae

Families: Ground-Roller, Roller, Cuckoo-Roller, Woodhoopoe, Hoopoe


Order Coraciiformes    Family Brachypteraciidae

Genus Atelornis

Roller, Pitta-like Ground-
  Atelornis pittoides  Found: Madagascar
Image by: 1) Winkelbohrer  2) Frank Vassen - Madagascar  3) Dick Daniels - Ranomafana, Madagascar  4) Pat and Keith Taylor - Mantadia National Park

Roller, Rufous-headed Ground-  Atelornis crossleyi  Found: Madagascar
Image by: 1) John Gerrard Keulemans  2) David Cook

Genus Brachypteracias

Roller, Scaly Ground-  Brachypteracias squamiger  Found: Madagascar
Image by: 1) Boyd Horsbrugh  2) Niall Corbet

Roller, Short-legged Ground-  Brachypteracias leptosomus  Found: Madagascar
Image by: 1, 2) Frank Vassen - Madagascar  3) Pat and Keith Taylor - Mantadia National Park

Genus Uratelornis - 1 species

Roller, Long-tailed Ground-   Uratelornis chimaera  Found: near coast of southwest Madagascar
The Long-tailed Ground-Roller has long tail; brown upperparts with dark streaks; light gray underparts; white throat with black border;  white stripe at base of bill; blue at edge of wings and tail.
Image by: 1, 2) Frank Vassen  3) Richard Crook


Order Coraciiformes    Family Coraciidae

The rollers get their name from the aerial acrobatics some of these birds perform during courtship or territorial flights. They reside in warm climates of the Old World. Rollers resemble crows in size and build, and share the colourful appearance of kingfishers and bee-eaters, blues and pinkish or cinnamon browns predominating. The two inner front toes are connected, but not the outer one. They are mainly insect eaters. Rollers nest in an unlined hole in a tree or in masonry. [abstracted from Wikipedia]

Genus Coracias
Coracias is a genus of the rollers, an Old World family of near passerine birds related to the kingfishers and bee-eaters. They share the colourful appearance of those groups, blues and browns predominating. The two outer front toes are connected, but not the inner one.
These are insect eaters, usually catching their prey in the air. They often perch prominently whilst hunting, like giant shrikes.

Roller, Abyssinian  Coracias abyssinicus  Found: Africa
The Abyssinian Roller has mainly blue plumage; lighter head with dark eye-line; brown back.
Image by: 1) Dick Daniels - specimen in Nairobi National Museum, Kenya  2) Thom Hasiam  3) JV Verde - Gambia

Roller, Blue-bellied   Coracias cyanogaster  Found: Africa
The Blue-bellied Roller has dark green back; white head, neck, breast; remainder blue.
Image by: 1) Charlie Westerinen - Reid Zoo, Tuscon, Arizona  2) Dick Daniels - Jacksonville Zoo in Florida 
    3) Sandy Cole - National Aviary  4) Dick - National Aviary  5) Dick - San Diego Zoo

Roller, European  Coracias garrulus  Found: Europe, Asia, Africa
The European Roller has mainly blue plumage; orange-brown back; black eye-line. It has strong direct flight, with the brilliant blue contrasting with black flight feathers.
Similar to: Indian Roller. The European Roller has striking blue breast; Indian Roller usually has brown breast.
Image by: 1, 2) Arno Meintjes  3) Christian Svane

Roller, Lilac-breasted Coracias caudatus Found: Africa
The Lilac-breasted Roller has brown back; violet breast, rump and much of wing; green head; white chin; greenish-yellow legs.
Image by:  1, 2, 3) Dick Daniels - Tanzania   4) Dick - Masai Mara, Kenya
  5) Dick - Kruger National  Park, South Africa  6) Cristiano Crolle - Kalahari desert Namibia

Roller, Racket-tailed  Coracias spatulatus  Found: Africa
Image by: 1,3) Dick Daniels - San Diego Zoo  2, 4) Dick - Jacksonville Zoo, Florida 

Roller, Rufous-crowned  formerly Purple Roller  Coracias naevius Found: Africa
The Rufous-crowned Roller has rufous crown; chestnut wings; white supercilium; dark eye-line.
Image by:  1 Frank Vassen 2) Claude Gibney Finch-Davies   3) Yoky - Tanzania 
4)  Renier Maritz - South Africa   5) Arno Meintjes  6) Dick Daniels - Nairobi National Park, Kenya

Genus Eurystomus
The Eurystomus vary from the other genus of rollers, Coracias in having proportionally longer wings and shorter legs. These morphological differences reflect differences in foraging technique, whereas Coracias rollers forage from a fixed perch and take prey by swooping down onto it on the ground, the faster and more agile Eurystomus rollers catch their prey on the wing. Unlike the Coracias they do not perform the "rolling" display which gives the family its common name.

Roller, Blue-throated  Eurystomus gularis  Found: Africa
Image by: 1) John Gerrard Keulemans  2) Dick Daniels - specimen in Nairobi National Museum, Kenya  3) Michael and Helen Cox

Roller, Broad-billed  also  Cinnamon Roller  Eurystomus glaucurus  Found: tropical Africa, Madagascar
The Broad-billed Roller has cinnamon upperparts, head; lilac fore-neck, breast; brwon belly; yellow bill.
Image by:  1) Lip kee - Botswana  2) Margaux1900  3) Dick Daniels - Madagascar 4) Gip Gipukan 


Order Coraciiformes    Family Leptosomidae

The Cuckoo-Roller faminly contains just one species, the Cucko-Roller. It is unclear what order this bird belongs to. Perhaps it will be placed in its own order, but here it is placed with the Coraciiformes.

Genus  Leptosomus - 1 species

Cuckoo-Roller  Leptosomus discolor  Found; Comoro, Madagascar
Image by: 1) Copepodo  Frank Wouters


Order Coraciiformes    Family Phoeniculidae

Genus Phoeniculus

Woodhoopoe, Green  also  Green Wood Hoopee  Phoeniculus purpureus  Found: Africa
The Green Woodhoopoe has metallic dark green plumage with purple back; long white-marked tail; long curved red bill.
Image by: 1) Dick Daniels - North Carolina Zoo  2, 3, 4) Dick - San Diego Zoo  5) Kevin O'Grady - Accra, Ghana


Order Coraciiformes    Family Upupidae - 1 genus

Genus Upupa - 1 species

Hoopoe  also  Eurasain Hoopoe  Upupa epops   Found: Europe, Asia, Africa
The Hoopoe has a long thing bill with fawn base; black-and-white lower back and wings; impressive creast. The call is oop-oop-opp from which comes the name.
The African Hoopoe is now considered to be a subspecies, U. e. africana, not a separated species.
Image by:  1, 2) Joseph Mochoge - Gilgil, Kenya  3) Dick Daniels - Fish Eagle Lodge, Knysna Lagoon  4) J. M. Garg 
     5) Dick near Kruger National Park, South Africa 6) Charlie Westerinen - Cambodia  7) Charlie - Greece

Hoopoe, Madagascar Upupa marginata  Found: Madagascar
The Madagascar Hoopoe is very similar to the Upupa epops Hoopoe and is consider by some to be a subspecies. It does have different vocalizations.
Image by: 1) David Cook  2) Pat and Keith Taylor - Ankarafantsika National Park

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