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European Roller

Similar in size to Jay. The vivid blue plumage is unique in Europe, its turquoise-blue body and most wing coverts contrasting with blackish flight feathers , bright chestnut back and deep blue leading forewing are distinctive, it can not be mistaken for any other bird. Flight actions include fairly deep and regular wing-beats over distance and faster, more plucked wing-beats when hunting. The name refers to its spectacular rolling, tumbling display flight. It often perches on wire or poles or tops of exposed branches of trees watching for prey above bare or sparsely vegetated ground or short vegetation providing little cover for prey, moving only clumsily for brief distances on ground. Most prey taken by dive from perch, which it pounces upon like a shrike.

Over most of breeding range, favours open old oak forest with plenty of hollow trees, and pinewoods, especially with clearings, heaths, and other interruptions. Also inhabits tree-lined river banks, orchards, copses, willow stands, and dry plains with scattered thorn trees, but avoids intensive cultivation. Nests in hole in tree, or sometimes in rocks or building, or nest of other species, e.g. Raptor.

Adult Non-breeding Loses full vivid colours, with crown and nape dull brown-green, mantle less chestnut, and breast sullied green-brown. Main sightings have been along the Iztuzu Road, look out for them on wires, post and trees once you have left the village and are heading along the road. The open ground between the village and before the road rises to climb the hill leading down to the beach are best.

Other sightings have been the fields to the left of the river as you head up the river towards Lake Köycegiz . In 2009 a pair were nesting near the Ley Ley restaurant follow this route. From the Ley Ley head back towards Dalyan and you will see the school on the right hand side (you can't miss it at as it has been painted with murals of nature scenes) approx 50 meters past this on the opposite side of the road you will see a sign for Lycia Homes. Follow this track to the end and then take the left hand track. Follow this around the base of the hill (the hill will be to your right) and you will pass the Lycia Homes on the left. Keep following the track and you will pass another two villas and then an old cow shed on the left hand side. Approx 25 meters past this look to the right and you will see the cliff face where the rollers were nesting it is probably only a 10 minute walk. See map below. Hover mouse over image to view full size.

Although we are informing fellow birders where the best chances to locate the birds are we trust people will show sensitivity to the bird and vacate the vicinity if the bird appears disturbed or distressed.

Hover mouse over images to see full size

Image by Roland Ripoll

Image by  Roland Ripoll

Clip by szofer256

Image by  John Codling

Image by John Codling

Image by John Codling