Save the Dollarbird (Eurystomus orientalis)In Bangladesh we have two species of Rollers from the family Coraciidae. These are Dollarbird or Broad-billed Roller (Eurystomus orientalis) and Indian Roller (Corace benghalensis). The Indian Roller is common and widespread throughout the country, but the Dollarbird is uncommon and its distribution range is very limited. The two species have bright plumage and a few more similarities. The Roller gets its name from the rolls it performs during flight. You can find Dollarbirds in the hilly forests of Sylhet, Chittagong and the Hill Tracts.
Identification: Mostly blue-black and greenish brown with blackish head and bright red bill and legs. Shape is similar to that of Indian Roller, but has shorter and stouter bill, proportionately larger head and shorter neck and tail. A large pale blue, almost round patch (the 'dollar') is conspicuous in flight. Bill is exceptionally broad (hence the name Broad-billed Roller). Juvenile is similar, but has dull pinkish bill. Size: Adult is pigeon size, length 28-31 cm.Top of page
Voice: Very silent, but occasionally utters a raucous 'check check'.
Habits: Keeps singly or in pairs, occasionally loose parties. Spends long periods in the daytime perched inactively on tops of dead trees, only occasionally making short flights after insects and returning to the perch again. Feeds chiefly in late afternoons and evenings, continuing until dark. Food: Feeds on crickets, beetles, flying termites, etc; also small lizards and frogs.
Habitat: Secondary tropical evergreen forest and forest clearings for cultivation with scattered standing trees.
Breeding: March to May is breeding season. Nests in a natural hollow or woodpecker's hole, frequently 1.5-2 metres high. Eggs 3-4, white.
Distribution: Mixed evergreen forests of northeast and southeast region of Bangladesh.
Status: Resident and winter visitor, critically endangered.
Threats: Habitat loss.
Conservation needs: Habitat protection.
Extra-territorial distribution: India, Nepal, Malaysia, Myanmar, Russia, Bhutan, Thailand, Vietnam, China and Japan (Sajahan Sorder, Holiday, September 10, 2004).
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