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Purple Roller

Purple Roller
Photo Information
Copyright: Anna Eksteen (Miss_Piggy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2285 W: 5 N: 5300] (18714)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-10-20
Categories: Birds
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC H9, Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar 15x Optical zoom, Digital ISO 125
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/640 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Travelogue: Kruger NP 2009
Theme(s): Roller, Birds of South Africa 3 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2010-08-03 20:25
Viewed: 4867
Points: 82
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Purple Roller / Coracias naevius

The Purple Roller is the 26th in the series of the birds of the Kruger National Park, which I am currently sharing. Enjoy!

Just as the Lilac-breasted Roller this is one of my favourite birds in the Park. It is however not seen as often and commonly on a dried branch as the Lilac-breasted Roller. The Purple Roller is also bigger in size. They do not fly around as much as other rollers.

They have a length of 35-40cm, and weigh 160g. The sexes look alike. It is a large, stocky and dull roller. From a distance or in poor light it appears a plain dark brown bird with a white spot on the hind crown. The upperparts are mainly dark olive-green, the rump is blue-purple.

Closed wings look dark rufous; the tail is square, dark greenish centrally and the rest is purple-blue. The sides of the head and under parts are a pale purple-brown, heavily streaked white; the lower flanks, belly and undertailcoverts are unstreaked. In flight they are marginally brighter. The flight feathers are blue-black. Marginal upper wing coverts are pale pink, median and lesser coverts are bright lilac to dark purple. The under wing is pale pink. Rather long-winged. The bill is black, legs and feet are olive-brown in colour.

They feed on insects, mainly locusts, grasshoppers and mantises, also beetles, ants, scorpions, small reptiles, mice and occasionally young birds.

They are territorial, monogamous breeders, nesting solitarily. Nesting occurs between October and June. The same nest is occupied several years in succession, and the birds inspect the nest hole also in the non-breeding season. The eggs are rounded, pure white and slightly glossy.

They prefer the interior of open woodland or bushveld. They generally need large trees for breeding. They prefer hot low laying ground.

Territorial and pugnacious they chase and drive off other rollers, crows and small hawks. Mostly found singly or in pairs; partners may be perched hundreds of meters apart. Perches mostly on dead branches, either inside tree canopy or more conspicuously at periphery or on top. They are less vocal and less acrobatic than other rollers.

Names of this avian species in other languages
Afrikaans ... Groottroupant
German ... Strichelracke
Portuguese ... Roliero-de-sobrancelhas-brancas
French ... Rollier varié
Dutch ... Roodkruinscharrelaar


I hope you enjoy looking at this photo as much as I took pleasure in taking it.

Argus, boreocypriensis, siggi, haraprasan, KOMSIS, pnieuwoudt, paolo49, bahadir, horias, caspian, Noisette, jaycee, Mamagolo2, pierrefonds, marhowie, uleko, jlynx, Dis. Ac., rommel, Heaven, maurydv, CeltickRanger, tuslaw, oscarromulus has marked this note useful
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To oscarromulus: Great for BernardeteMiss_Piggy 1 08-31 13:39
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2010-08-03 22:26]

Hello Anna,
The Purple Roller seems to be one of the lesser known species of roller on TN.
This is a fine lateral POV capture of it taken in difficult side lighting that you managed well to show its features with fine sharpness and colours to include a nice catchlight in the eye.
The composition against the blue sky is pleasing.
Thanks and best regards,

Ciao Anne, lovely bird in nice pose on a beautiful blue sky, fantastic details, wonderful colors and splendid sharpness, very well done my friend, ciao Silvio

Good morning Anna,

An excellent capture of this beautiful Coracias which i saw firstly thanks to you, with superb sharpness and shallow DOF. The low POV against the blue sky works well and the details in her feathers are perfectly captured.
TFS anfd have a great day!


Hello Anna,
Gosh, you've got up nice and close for this shot.
This has some similarities to the Australian kookaburra
It looks like a bit of a stroppy character.
Thanks for sharing this.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2010-08-04 0:18]

Hello Anna,
The Lilac-breasted Roller is my absolute favourite. But this Purple Roller is also a beauty. Again a very beautiful photo in great natural colours against a wonderful blue sky. Fantastic sharp details. Good POV and composition. I like the catchlight in the eye.

Wow, Anna, good shot, I have never seen one of these. The photo is sharp, the colours are true end I love the glint in the eye.

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2010-08-04 0:57]

Hello Anna,
Wonderful shot of this Purple Roller. It really presented you a fabulous pose. Lovely colours and sharp details. Superb BG and POV. Very nicely composed.Best regards Siggi

Hi Anna

Nice view of this roller. Good details and pose and highlighted nicely against the blue sky.


Hi Anna,
A lovely capture of this Roller bird. A rare bird on Treknature I think. Nice angle of view. Sharp details and a good composition. Thanks a lot for sharing.

  • Great 
  • KOMSIS Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 820 W: 0 N: 2419] (10674)
  • [2010-08-04 2:26]

Hi Anna,
Very beautiful sky ...
Used good lateral light.Excellent sharp details and colors.
Best wishes,

Hi Anna
A very staely pose of this beautiful purple roller. I have to agree that the rollers are also some of my favourite birds in Kruger. I just cannot drive past them, because you never know when to expect some action like the capture of an insect in mid air.

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2010-08-04 5:26]

Hello Anna,
another lovely collection from you. This is a nicely composed with sharpness and details well documented. The blue sky is indeed an exciting background that attract the eyes immediately. I like the sharp thorns too, giving a good artistic view and composition.
Well presented shot.


Hello Anna,
color and detail of this picture are perfect, the background pays tribute to this beautiful bird. Thanks for sharing, Paul

Hello Anna,
You've manged very good full potential of your Sony Bridge! ... this photo is eloquent and well archieved. The POV is complex, but you resolved very well! Especially congratualtions for the blue sky, is perfect! ... excellent exposure! Beautiful bird and an interesting cut.
10/10 for me!
Regards, Jesús

  • Great 
  • nagraj Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1618 W: 106 N: 3208] (15166)
  • [2010-08-04 7:01]

Beautiful lighting for this lovely bird and excellent colors. tfs.

hello Anne
super shot of this beauty
great details and good light
beautiful colours
thanks for the nice comment you give
greeting lou

Hello Anna, wonderful shot of this handsome Purple Roller with lovely pose and fine composition.
TFS and regards,

  • Great 
  • horias Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 837 W: 58 N: 2084] (11033)
  • [2010-08-04 11:00]

Hi Anna
What a great shot of this lovely Purple Roller!
Details and colors are perfect!
Great blue sky!

Hallo Anna,

Very interesting and beautiful species.
Become a successful shooting from long distance.
Very nice details and projected composition of dead wood is very nice.
Thanks for sharing.

King Regards,

Hello Anna
fine capture of this Purple Roller percher on a branch against a wonderful blue sky, wonderful details on the whole bird, great POV and pose
a very beautiful shot
Have a good night

P.S. today the baby of Valérie is born, it's a boy called Denis

Hi Anna,

Lovely shot with Perfect light and BG
Excellent sharpnes and great catchlight

TFS Thijs
ps I bought the raynox for Paula(PvB) on ebay

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2010-08-05 11:02]

Hi Anna,

This Purple Roller is just magnificent and this may be the only one I have seen. My favorite composition posed on the top of a tree with the blue sky background. An adorable bird which you show in superfine detail and beautiful colors. He has a lovely eye and a nice expression on his face. I would love to see one of these!!!!!


Hi Anna,
Ai, dit is nou voorwaar 'n pragtige foto van die troupant. Stunning image with sharp clear detail and beautiful colors. Very well done my friend and thanks for sharing.

Hi Anna,

The branches are framing well the bird. The point of view is showing the details and colors of the purple roller. It is cleard and sharp. The morning light is bringing out the beauty of the colors. Have a nice day.


I like the way the morning light at 7:03 ;) hits the bird Anna, great catch-light.
Very good detail/DOF, and the blue BG sets it off nicely :)
Well done - Beautiful bird!

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2010-08-06 9:52]

Hello Anna,
A species new to me and a very beautiful one! Your capture shows it in a fine pose and in beautiful light that's brought out details very sharply. Great focus on the eye and lovely colours against the blue background.
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

Hello Anna
Il scrute l'horizon, et avec son air ébouriffé, et son bec crochu, il recherche sa proie.
Merci pour ce chiché

  • Great 
  • jlynx Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 87 W: 7 N: 46] (455)
  • [2010-08-07 11:02]

Hello Anna,
Very nice photo Purple Roller. This bird probably knows that you poses for a portrait ...
Very good picture quality, ¿wietna focus on bird eyes.
I like his bristling head. I have the impression that this bird has a lot of spirit.
Greetings from wet Mosina,

Hi Anna,

yoy show me again a bird that I never have been seen in real.
Good pov with light in the eye.
Great details and fine colours.
You managed the hard light good.


Gracias por tus amables comentarios Anna. No se si realmente merezco todo eso :-)
Tu toma, en la línea con otros de tus trabajos, nos muestra una fauna curiosa y misteriosa para los Europeos, que gracias a tí podemos admirar y disfrutar. Un ave preciosa no exenta de dificultad en su captura por el complicado ángulo de disparo y la distancia larga a la que supongo disparaste.

Un abrazo y buen Domingo: Josep Ignasi.

Hellow Anna,
A most amazing photo of this roller with natural light.A beautiful clear and blue sky as your BG.Really sharp image with intricate details.
Enjoy your KRUGER trip, im jealous, you were there the other day and its time you and Loot pack me in for the ride.
PS. im waiting 5 weeks now for both my cameras to be returned.Service in this country is pathetic.
Reagards to you both.

Hello Anna,
Excellent capture of this Purple Roller, great sharpness, fine details, good luminosity and nice blue sky.

Hi, Anna,
Beautiful foreground contrasting with the blue sky.
Salutacions cordials,

  • Great 
  • Heaven Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 996 W: 123 N: 2341] (7912)
  • [2010-08-08 23:01]

Dear Anna!

The picture of the Purple Roller is crystal clear and I like the quite strong contrast very much. Together with the fine details this creates a strong impact on the viewer and attracts the eye as well as the interest. And I'm always impressed and delighted by your rich and detailed notes.

Kind regards


Hallo Anna,
what a wonderful capture of the Purple Roller taken from an excellent POV in a regal pose against the blue sky, superb sharpness and marvellous natural colours, very well composed with very beautiful lighting.
Best regards

hello Anna

great close-up photo of the Purple Roller,
with a fine POV and framing, superbly focused
excellent sharpness and details, excellent contrast,
great expression on his glance, the catch-light
render the photo more beautiful, TFS


A very nice clean shot of this roller. I think this is my first seeing one not so brilliantly colored as your note stated. I like especially the feathered spikes protruding from the head and the spotted breast. Nicely captured Anna. :)

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2010-08-12 18:19]

Hello Anna,
This guy reminds me of a Punk Rocker with his spiked hair style. This is a new one for me and you have done a great job of capturing his image. Beautiful colors and very nice detail with a tiny catch-light in his eye. I noticed that the end of his bill seems to have a turned down, almost hook appearance to it. I wonder if this is for some specialized purpose? Overall wonderful shot!!

Ciao Anna. Impressive capture by a great POV. Excellent contrast against the deep blue sky. Magnificent playing of light.


Anna, this is a very good shot of this bird. Thanks for your comment on my 'Humongus Catch' photo. Have a great weekend, Bill

Anna, hello,
I've never ever been able to view this roller in real life. Thanks for sharing.
Moreover it is an excellent register. So much DETAIL. Sharp too.
Love the way you have handled the depth of field with a mere DSC H9.
Your notes are so educative. Very well presented, indeed!!!
Fond regards to you both.
P.S. My Bernardete has become interested in photography; she is using the Sony DSC H9. She is coming along!!!

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