The rollers are an Old World family, Coraciidae, of near passerine birds. The group gets its name from the aerial acrobatics some of these birds perform during courtship or territorial flights. 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, with Eurystomus species taking their prey on the wing, and those of the genus Coracias diving from a perch to catch food items from on the ground, like giant shrikes. Although living rollers are birds of warm climates in the Old World, fossil records show that rollers were present in No.
The eggs, which are white, hatch after 17–20 days, and the young remain in the nest for approximately another 30 days. Rollers resemble crows in size and build, ranging from 25 to 27 centimetres (10–11 in) in length. They share the colourful appearance of kingfishers and bee-eaters, blues and pinkish or cinnamon browns predominating. The rollers are similar in general morphology to their relatives in the order Coraciiformes, having large heads on short necks, bright plumage, weak feet and short legs. The two inner front toes are connected, but not the outer one. The weakness of the feet and legs is reflected in their behaviour, rollers do not hop or move along perches and seldom use their feet other than for occasional lurching leaps along the ground pursuing escaping prey. The bill is robust, and is shorter yet broader in the genus Eurystomus, sometimes known as the broad-billed rollers.
in the area of the Danube Delta, several hundred pairs nest, being a very common species from spring to autumn.
photo: Mihai BACIU