A European roller surveys the land from its high perch. Their pastel colours, like a soft watercolour painting, blends in with the open savannah.
It’s always such a treat to see any bird, anywhere. With so many different species in the world, you never know who is going to fly by or sit down next to you. Sweet, fleeting spirits. A quick hello and then they take off again, off on their flighty adventures- especially so in the case of this roller, as it will migrate over 10,000kms/6,200mi from its breeding grounds in Europe and Asia to sub-Saharan Africa, every year. One sub-species has breeding areas in Morocco, Iran to Siberia- the other, from Iraq, Kashmir, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and China. That's a lot of rolling.
They travel great distances over land and sea, which carries high risks to their survival. The main danger for these near-threatened species, however, is the human: they're shot for food in some Mediterranean countries, and increased used of pesticides are reducing their food sources. The most significant threat is habitat loss, and subsequently, fewer nesting sites.
Meanwhile, this one seemed to be happy and staying put for the season. Keeping an eye on the ground for its next meal, and then perhaps to head to a favourite spot, to have a bath in a puddle on the road, sing a song from another branch, or to nest in the foliage until the sun comes up again.
Travel safely and keep rolling, little bird.
“In order to see birds, it is necessary to become a part of the silence.”