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Photo of the day – lilac breasted roller

lilac breasted roller

The lilac breasted roller is widely distributed in sub-Saharan Africa and the southern Arabian Peninsula, preferring open woodland and savannah.

Usually found alone or in pairs, it perches conspicuously at the tops of trees, poles or other high vantage points from where it can spot insects, lizards, scorpions, snails, small birds and rodents moving about at ground level.

Nesting takes place in a natural hole in a tree where a clutch of 2–4 eggs is laid, and incubated by both parents, who are extremely aggressive in defence of their nest, taking on raptors and other birds.

During the breeding season the male will rise to great heights, descending in swoops and dives, while uttering harsh, discordant cries.

The lilac breasted roller is the national bird of Botswana and Kenya.

This image was taken by St Francis Bay photographer Clive Wright on a recent trip to Kruger National Park.

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