basic information

Eurasian Roller

Coracias garrulus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Сизоворонка обыкновенная | Көкқарға

Malay-Sary Gorge, Almaty region
© Vassiliy Fedorenko


Breeds in Trans-Ural area, Naurzum, in Irtysh valley, and in southern part of Kazakhstan. On migration occurs everywhere. Please see the detailed distribution in the section Subspecies.


Common, in places rare breeding migrant. Inhabits the flood plain forests, patches of pine forests in steppes, the grove of asiatic poplar at Zhelturanga (Ile valley), the clay ravines in deserts, the steep banks of lakes and rivers in open or hilly county in foothills. Arrives in end of April – mid-May singly or in small loose flocks of 15-30 birds, which observed at Chokpak pass in early morning. Latest migrants recorded in end of May. Breeds by separate pairs at distance at least 50-200 m apart. Nests is located in natural tree holes (willow, asiatic poplar) or in burrows depth 0.25-1.25 m excavated by birds; nest is used during several years. At the burrow’s end there is the nest chamber without any lining. Clutch of 3-7 eggs is laid in mid-May – June. Both parents excavate burrow, incubate the clutch for 18-19 days and then feed juveniles which fledge in July, at age 26-28 days old. During post-breeding dispersions birds occur in mountains much higher than breeding places, and gather on poles and wires along the roads in open country. Autumn migration begins in August; odd birds linger to the end of September – early October, latest bird recorded near Merke 29 October 2000.


Coracias garrulus garrulus (Linnaeus, 1758)

    Description. Brown on mantle is darker; the head, neck, underparts, great and median upperwing coverts are more bluish and less greenish tinged than semenowi.
    Distribution. Breeds in Volga-Ural interfluves near flood-gates of reservoirs, in Ural basin, in Naurzum Reserve, in Irtysh valley upwards to Semipalatinsk, and also on Altai in Uba valley near Shemonaikha village. In summer recorded in Pavlodar Trans-Irtysh area. On migration occurs to the south from breeding range. Vagrant bird observed 28 May 1982 on Markakol lake.

Coracias garrulus semenowi (Loudon et Tschusi, 1902)

    Description. Brown on mantle is lighter; head, neck, underparts, great and median upperwing coverts are more greenish and less bluish tinged than garrulus.
    Distribution. Breeds in southern part of Kazakhstan, in north to northern coast of Aral Sea and Zaysan depression. During migration occurs in breeding range.


Gavrilov E. I., Gavrilov A. E. "The Birds of Kazakhstan". Almaty, 2005. Э.И.Гаврилов. "Фауна и распространение птиц Казахстана". Алматы, 1999. В.К.Рябицев. "Птицы Урала, Приуралья и Западной Сибири". Екатеринбург. Изд-во Уральского университета, 2000.



Coracias garrulus garrulus
(Linnaeus, 1758)
Coracias garrulus semenowi
(Loudon et Tschusi, 1902)

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