Family Rollers (Coraciidae)

Least Concern

Indian Roller (Coracias benghalensis)


French: Rollier indien German: Bengalenracke Spanish: Carraca india

Corvus benghalensis


, 1758,

Bengal (= Madras), India


Normally considered to include C. affinis in part because the two intergrade#R, but the two differ in several characters (see C. affinis). May be related to C. temminckii and perhaps C. caudatus. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. b. benghalensis (Linnaeus, 1758) – SE Arabia (N United Arab Emirates, N Oman), and E Iraq through S Iran and N Pakistan E to Bangladesh, S to Maharashtra; one record in NE Afghanistan (Jalalabat)#R.
  • C. b. indicus Linnaeus, 1766 – C India (from S Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh) S to Sri Lanka.
  • Descriptive notes

    30–34 cm; 166–176 g. This and C. affinis are the only rollers with an azure stripe across distal half of primaries, visible in flight from afar... read more


    Calls extremely harsh, being more explosive and scraping but less nasal than vocalizations of C... read more


    Open farmland, pasture, stubble, plantations, palm groves, dry Acacia and Prosopis... read more

    Food and feeding

    Large arthropods and small vertebrates: grasshoppers, crickets, earwigs, mantises, bugs, termites, beetles, moths, wasps, ants, larvae,... read more


    Mar–Jun (rarely Jul) in N, Jan–Mar in S; mainly Apr–Jun in Arabia, but copulation observed there Dec–Apr.... read more


    Breeds in SE Arabia, but also regular and abundant winter visitor (Oct–Mar) there, with... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common over much of its range; locally abundant, at least seasonally in many areas. In Oman, once 370 birds on 250 km of roadside wires, and up to... read more

    Recommended citation

    Fry, H. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Indian Roller (Coracias benghalensis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 23 March 2019).