Rollers, Jays, Hoopoes

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8 records

Rollers resemble crows in size and build, and share the colourful appearance of kingfishers and bee-eaters, blues and pinkish or cinnamon browns predominating.


Black-headed Jay

Total Photos: 3

The Black-headed Jay is roughly the same size as its close relative the Eurasian Jay, but a little more slender overall except for the bill which is slightly shorter and thicker. The top of the head is black and it has a more obvious crest and a longer tail. It feeds both on the ground and in trees, and takes the wide range of plant and animal foods, including eggs and nestlings, as well as scraps near human habitation. The voice is most often a loud screech but with longer pauses between.

Blue Jay

Total Photos: 6

The Blue Jay is a passerine bird native to North America. It is resident through most of eastern and central United States and southern Canada, though western populations may be migratory. It is common near residential areas.

It is predominately blue with a white breast and underparts, and a blue crest. It has a black, U-shaped collar around its neck and a black border behind the crest. Male and female are similar in size and plumage, and plumage does not vary throughout the year.

The Blue Jay mainly feeds on nuts and seeds, soft fruits, arthropods, and occasionally small vertebrates. It typically gleans food from trees, shrubs, and the ground, though it sometimes hawks insects from the air. It builds an open cup nest in the branches of a tree, which both male and female participate in constructing. The clutch can contain two to seven eggs, which are blueish or light brown with brown spots. Young are altricial, and are brooded by the female for 8–12 days after hatching. They may remain with their parents for one to two months before leaving the nest.

The Blue Jay measures 30 cm from bill to tail and weighs 100 gm, with a wingspan of 45 cm . There is a pronounced crest on the head, a crown of feathers, which may be raised or lowered according to the bird's mood. When excited or aggressive, the crest may be fully raised. When frightened, the crest bristles outwards, brushlike. When the bird is feeding among other jays or resting, the crest is flattened to the head.

Common Hoopoe

Total Photos: 7

The Common Hoopoe is a colorful bird that is found across Afro-Eurasia. It is notable for its distinctive crown of feathers.

The Common Hoopoe is a medium sized bird, 35 cm long, with a 50 cm wingspan weighing 90 gm. The species is highly distinctive, with a long, thin tapering bill that is black with a fawn base. The strengthened musculature of the head allows the bill to be opened when probing inside the soil. The hoopoe has broad and rounded wings capable of strong flight; these are larger in the northern migratory subspecies. The Hoopoe has a characteristic undulating flight, which is like that of a giant butterfly, caused by the wings half closing at the end of each beat or short sequence of beats.

In the Himalayas, the calls can be confused with that of the Himalayan Cuckoo, although the cuckoo typically produces four notes.

Curl-crested Jay

Total Photos: 3

The Curl-crested Jay is a jay from South America. It is a beautiful and large bird with predominantly dark blue back, an almost black head and neck, and snow-white chest and underparts. They have a pronounced curled crest rising from just behind the beak; the crest is on average larger in males, but the male and female are generally quite similar.

They live in groups of from 6 to 12 individuals, moving from food source to food source during the day. They leave a lookout nearby to keep watch for predators. This bird is a generalist, eating almost anything, including eggs and nestlings of other birds, insects, arthropods, and small vertebrates like geckos. It also likes palm nuts and is particularly fond of the seeds of the native Inga laurina and the fruits of the introduced Umbrella Tree. Curl-crested Jays have even been observed spending the early morning in a Pequi tree where they fed on nectar, and perhaps also on invertebrates which had visited the mainly night-blooming flowers of this plant.

European Roller

Total Photos: 5

The European roller is a stocky bird, the size of a jackdaw at 29–32 cm in length with a 52–58 cm wingspan; it is mainly blue with an orange-brown back. Rollers often perch prominently on trees, posts or overhead wires, like giant shrikes, whilst watching for the large insects, small reptiles, rodents and frogs that they eat. This species is striking in its strong direct flight, with the brilliant blue contrasting with black flight feathers. Sexes are similar, but the juvenile is a drabber version of the adult. The display of this bird is a lapwing-like display, with the twists and turns that give this species its English name. It nests in an unlined tree or cliff hole, and lays up to six eggs. The call is a harsh crow-like sound. It gives a raucous series of calls when nervous. Some populations migrate to Africa through India.

Indian Roller

Total Photos: 1

The Indian Roller is also known as the Blue Jay in former times. It is a member of the roller family of birds. They are found in southern Asia from Iraq to Thailand and are best known for the aerobatic displays of the male during the breeding season. They are very commonly seen perched along roadside trees and wires and are commonly seen in open grassland and scrub forest habitats. It is not migratory, but undertakes some seasonal movements.

The Indian Roller is a stocky bird about 30 cm long and can only be confused within its range with the migratory European Roller. The crown and vent are blue. The primaries are deep purplish blue with a band of pale blue. The tail is sky blue with a terminal band of blue and the central feathers are dull green. The neck and throat are purplish lilac with white shaft streaks. The bare patch around the eye is ochre in color. The three forward toes are united at the base. Rollers have a long and compressed bill with a curved upper edge and a hooked tip. The nostril is long and exposed and there are long rictal bristles at base of the bill.

Plain-crowned Jay

Total Photos: 1

Western Scrub Jay

Total Photos: 2

The Western Scrub Jay is a species of scrub jay native to western North America. It ranges from southern Washington to central Texas and central Mexico.