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Lilac-breasted Roller

Lilac-breasted Roller
Photo Information
Copyright: Stephen Earle (StephenE) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 19 W: 0 N: 111] (533)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-11-19
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon 40 D
Exposure: f/7.1, 1/1600 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Birds of South Africa 2, Blue Birds [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-11-21 3:48
Viewed: 4737
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 32
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This is my favourite South African bird. I've always wanted a picture of one in flight and got lucky on a recent trip to the Sabi Sand Game Reserve. This pic was taken with a rented Canon 500 f4 L IS lens mounted on a tripod.

A large, brilliantly coloured bird, which usually sits on an open perch. Size 35-36 cm - Larger than a Laughing Dove, but with a longish tail. Afrikaans: Gewone Troupant

The Rollers have strong, short, bills with a hooked tip to the upper mandible . The Lilac-breasted Roller has a blackish bill and yellowish-green or green feet and legs. The eye is dark.

The breast is a brilliant lilac colour, streaked with white. The belly is sky blue and the wing coverts are various shades of blue. The crown is greenish-turquoise and the rump and tail are bright blue.

There is a white patch on the forehead, and around the dark eyes. In flight the totally blue wings are a spectacular sight, with stunning contrast between the sky-blue inner wing and the dark blue feather ends. It has a spectacular display, which can be seen in the breeding season, when it flies high above the woodland calling loudly. The bird will fly with a curious rolling motion, involving twists and turns. It then suddenly turns and dives down on open wings.

This is a common species of the bushveld areas, and is usually seen perched on a prominent perch from where it can see the surrounding terrain. It is usually found singly or in pairs. It generally flies down to the ground to catch large insects.

The main food is insects, including locusts, beetles, caterpillars and ants.

The call is a harsh, grating rak-zak-zaak, zak-zak-zak, zak-raak - usually utteed in display - otherwise generally a quiet bird.

It breeds from August to December. The nest is in a natural hole in tree, 2-6 metres above the ground.

Aaltjie, JoseMiguel, vihang8846, Maite, earthtraveler, rcrick, darwin has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Dear Stephen
Excellent capture. Beautiful colours, stunning image. Detail very good.
You pressed the button just at the right time. Congratulations! A well deserved smiley.

WHAT´S THAT? THAT BIRD IS VERY NICE, great quality of picture, nice light, beutiful moment, beautiful bird...really thx for sharing Stephen!

  • Great 
  • Norte Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 32 W: 0 N: 45] (184)
  • [2007-11-21 4:29]

Nice picture of this to me unknown bird.
Good composition and colors, very sharp. A little unsharp back wing, but its only giving a motion to the picture.
Jon :)

Hi Stephen,
This is wonderful!
I like very much the pose caught, the frozen movement on the wings are just great!
The good lighting and your timing ceated this remarkable image, in which the colours of the bird are reproduced in such high quality.
It's so good the pose of the legs, sowing the imminent take off.
A remarkable image, no doubt!
My compliments and thanks for share it.
Best regards,

hi stephen
lovely capture
i loved this bird
i t looks so awesome in the photograph
i cant imagine how beautiful it must be in reality
high shutter speed seems to have worked best here..
grat shot

Stunning action shot with lovely detail and superb composition.

  • Great 
  • Maite Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 998 W: 65 N: 1270] (5199)
  • [2007-11-21 7:15]

What a fantastic capture, Stephen! And what a beautiful one! This curious bird has amazing colors. You shot in a perfect timing and got a marvellous image with the bird just about to set off. I do love the composition.
Great job and very good note.
My compliments and TFS

Hello Stephen,
Now, I'm really jealous..
Posted a Roller today mentioning I wanted one in flight displaying its remarkable colours and here it is:-)
Very good work!

Hi Stephen,
Great Roller capture.
Wonderfully sharp and well lit.
Fine POV/pose.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2007-11-21 10:49]

Hello Stephen,
This is also my favourite African bird. Great moment an perfect timing. Fantastic colours and composition. Very sharp with beautiful details. Fantastic POV.

  • Great 
  • jesst Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 368 W: 0 N: 172] (2441)
  • [2007-11-21 11:04]

Nice picture and wonderful moment captured.

Hi Stephen, Wow this is such a great shot excellent timing and the lighting is just perfect very nice indeed, well done tfs Cheers Rick :)

Hi Stephen
Stunning action shot
Beautiful light and color
Wonderful moment tfs jon

If it were me, I would say this shot was worth the rental.
What a spectacular pose. That is great timing. Impressive colouring and details.

Hello Stephen,
What a lovely and beautiful bird you present here!
You've captured very fantastic moment of this scene, with excellent focusing and timing.
I personally love this POV very much.
Wonderful action shot!!
Thanks for sharing this lovely photo.
Best wishes,

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2007-11-24 2:59]

Hello Stephen, I really love the dynamic pose of that beautiful bird ! The exposure and composition are just great and it is very sharp. The little movement blur on the wings adds to the effect ! Thanks,


amazing colors! Great shot

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