The Lilac-breasted Roller is the national bird of Botswana. This beautiful multicolor bird is the African symbol of peace, or the equivalent of the White Dove. After a squabble between two villages, the chiefs would bury their spears along with a Lilac-breasted Roller bird as a sign of end of war. Quite the story!

Lilac breasted Roller - African safari

Lilac-breasted Roller standing on a branch. This photograph was created at the Savuti Game Reserve, Botswana.

ISO 1000 | f/4 | 1/2000 | Av Mode no manual exposure compensation | AI servo rear focusing

This photograph was created with the Canon 300mm f/4 L IS USM lens, the Canon EOS 5D mark II handheld.

The Lilac-breasted Roller photograph above was create early in the morning, while the bird was fluffing its feathers to stay warm. During the dry season, temperatures are cooler in mornings and evenings. The lack of water at that time of the year creates a unique opportunity to see and photograph a lot of savannah animals while they head to water wholes to drink. On my first African safari, I remember calling out to our guide almost each time I could spot a Roller. Fortunately, I quickly realized that they are easy to spot thanks to their colors and number of individuals.

Lilac breasted roller in flight - Botswana

Lilac-breasted Roller in flight. This photograph was created at the Savuti Game Reserve, Botswana.

ISO 1600 | f/4 | 1/3200 | Av Mode no manual exposure compensation | AI servo rear focusing

This photograph was created with the Canon 300mm f/4 L IS USM lens, the Canon EOS 5D mark II handheld.

This Lilac-breasted Roller in flight with wings fully down is quite a nice creation. However, my regret is that the sun angle is really off. If my shadow had been pointing straight at the bird the results would have been even more stunning! Colors would have popped more and there would not be that wing shadow along the neck of the bird. Fortunately, the Detail Extractor tool from NIK Softwares did a great job at recovering that area. I also really like the position of the tail!

Lilac-breasted Rollers are quite the aerial acrobats, especially during breeding season as males try to impress females with beautiful stunts. They soar high in the sky, then dive in rolls to display their beautiful colors.

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Steven

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Comments (2)

  1. Jan Mattix

    Reply

    Lilac-breasted Roller is so beautiful. Enjoy reading/looking at your blogs, thanks, Jan

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