As the name suggests, these birds have a wide distribution across the likes of Southern Europe and Asia. When colder weather approaches, they head South towards Africa, choosing the sub-Saharan region to enjoy our landscapes and its smaller inhabitants that can be feasted on. You could say that these birds chase an endless summer, choosing to frequent regions that offer them more sunshine and better feeding opportunities. Here’s a little more on them.

How they got their name

European Rollers get their name from the rolling motions they display during acts of courtship or territorial flights. They are monogamous and fiercely territorial, doing all they can to protect their partners, homes and young.

They’ve got an interesting defence mechanism

The European Roller’s chicks know how to deter opportunistic predators. They’re known to vomit a terrible smelling orange liquid over themselves if they feel like they’re at risk of being taken. This has two functions, the primary being to put the predator off of eating them. The secondary is to warn the parents as they fly back to the nest that they ought to beware of danger.

A feast awaits them here

With their diet being made up of insects, small mammals, reptiles and amphibians, European Rollers will hunt from a perched position, swooping down to the ground where prey can be caught. Thereafter, they’ll head to another perch to enjoy their meal.

They’ll only breed at home

As much as they are summer visitors, they aren’t summer breeders. European Rollers are winter breeders, choosing to have their young in countries like Russia, Portugal, Spain and Poland. It’s also the only Roller that breeds in Europe.

Join us in a birder’s paradise

If you’re passionate about birding, Nambiti Hills Private Game Experience is the ultimate place to tick a host of species off of your list. Ready to arrange the trip of a lifetime? Contact our reservations team today when you call +27 (0)31 333 6723 or email Alternatively, view our latest specials here: