The Lilac-breasted roller is found from Eritrea and Somalia
south to the northern half of southern Africa, where it is common in dry
woodland. It feeds on a wide variety of animals, preferring insects over
reptiles, arachnids, birds and rodents. It usually uses cavities in trees as
nest sites, 2-8 m above ground, although it is capable of kicking other birds
out of their nests. It lays 2-4 eggs, which are incubated by both sexes, for
17-25 days. The chicks stay in the nest for about 19 days, after which it is
dependent on its parents for about 20 more days.
Distribution and habitat
Occurs from Ethiopia south through Tanzania, southern DRC,
Zambia and Angola to southern Africa. Within southern Africa it is common in
Namibia (excluding the Namib Desert), Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and
north-eastern South Africa.
It generally prefers dry woodland, such as Acacia
savanna, miombo woodland, palm
savanna and mopane woodland. It often occupies the border between woodland
and grassy clearings, using the former for breeding and the latter for foraging.
Monogamous solitary nester, vigorously defending its nest againts
intruders, even outside the
It usually uses cavities in trees as nest sites, 2-8 m above ground. It
may also kick other birds out of their nests, such as
Green wood-hoopoe or
Cape Glossy starling. It also
uses nest boxes and termite mounds as nests.