Photographer's Note

The Indian Roller (Coracias benghalensis), also called the Blue Jay in former times is a member of the roller family of birds. In India it is called Neelkantha.
It is 13 inch long and is striking blue in colour. Indian Roller weighs around 80 -100 g.
It is inconspicuous when resting. But as it takes flight, the sudden flash of its blue wings can be startling. The crown, lower wings and tail are turquoise to blue-green. The throat and upper breast are purple and clearly streaked with turquoise.
This is a bird that prefers open country with scattered trees. It may be found in farms and in cities at lower elevations but avoids heavy jungles.
It ranges from Iraq and Iran through Pakistan, India, Burma, southeast Asia, Tibet, and parts of China.
An Indian Roller typically chooses an elevated perch in an exposed site where it can watch the ground in every direction. Occasionally it jerks its tail; otherwise it sits motionless until an insect or other small animal becomes visible. It flies straight to the food source, settles on the ground to retrieve it, then returns to its perch.
Frogs, when available, form a large proportion of the Indian Roller's diet. It also eats larger insects such as grasshoppers and crickets. Butterflies and moths may be caught in midair.
The Indian Roller has been given the status of 'state bird' by the states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh of India.
The longevity of this bird is 17 years.

Photograph taken at Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh, India.

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