Bird Families

Description of the Roller from the Red Book


The rufous-capped babbler (Stachyridopsis ruficeps) is a species of bird in the Timaliidae family.

Ranging across the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, it is found in Bhutan, Hong Kong, India, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and subtropical or tropical moist montane forests.
It is about 12 cm long and weighs about 7 to 12 grams
It has mostly pale olive and brown feathers on the top with a yellow smear on the face and bottom and has a red crown on top of the head.
His voice BBB BBB

Feed on insects, berries

It nestles in April and July. The nest is a deep elliptical cup or cone, its entrance in the side, often towards the top, made of dry herbs

Catalan: timalí becfí de corona rogenca
Czech: Timálie cervenohlavá, timálie rezavohlavá
Danish: Brunkronet Krattimalie
German: Rotkopf-Buschtimalie, Rotkopftimalie, Rotkopf-Timalie
English: Red-headed Babbler, Red-headed Tree Babbler, Rufous-capped Babbler, Rufous-crowned Babbler
Spanish: Timalí Coronirrojo
Spanish (Spain): Timalí Coronirrojo
Finnish: Ruostepäätimali
French: Timalie à tête rouge, Timalie de Blyth
Hungarian: barnafejű bozóttimália
Italian: Garrulo arboricolo testarossa, Garrulo caporossiccio
Japanese: zu-aka chime-dori, zuakachimedori
Japanese: ズ ア カ チ メ ド リ
Japanese (Kanji): 頭 赤 知 目 鳥
Latin: Cyanoderma ruficeps, Stachyridopsis ruficeps, Stachyris ruficeps, Stachyris ruficeps ruficeps
Lithuanian: Rausvakepuris stachiridopsas
Latvian: rudgalvas tarkšķis
Dutch: Roodkopboomtimalia, Roodkop-boomtimalia
Norwegian: Rustkronetimal
Polish: cierniodziób rdzawolbisty, cierniodziób rdzawołbisty, kolcodziób rdzawołbisty
Pinyin: hóng-tóu suì-méi, shān hóng-tóu
Russian: Red-headed stachiris
Slovak: timália červenohlavá
Swedish: Rödhättad busktimalia, Rödhättad mestimalia, rödhättad timalia
Vietnamese: Chim Khướư bụi đầu đỏ, Chim Khướư bụi đầu hung, Khướu bụi đầu đỏ
Chinese: 山 紅 頭, 紅 頭 穗 (眉 鳥), 红 头 穗 鹛
Chinese (Traditional): 山 紅 頭, 山 紅 頭 〔紅 頭 穗 鶥〕, 紅 頭 穗 鶥
Chinese (Taiwan, Traditional): 山 紅 頭
Chinese (Taiwan): 山 红 头

Video of the rufous-capped babbler of the لالم الطبيعة channel world of nature

Description of the bird

The feathered beauty belongs to the family of the Roller-shaped family of the Raksha-like order. The average length of an adult bird is 34 cm, and the weight reaches 200-240 g.

You can also highlight other special characteristics:

  1. The dimensions of the spread wing can be 22 cm, the length of the wings in span is all 65 cm.
  2. Proportional physique.
  3. Moves on elongated sand-colored legs.
  4. Three toes on each foot are facing forward, one is facing back.
  5. The head is rather large and set on a short neck.
  6. The firm, dark and powerful beak has an even outline and a characteristic hook at the end of its upper half.
  7. At the base of the beak, bristle-like vibrissae can be seen, which are the organs of touch.

The birds' flight style is fast, agile, with sharp and strong flaps of the wings.

Gait near the Roller with hips, which is inconvenient for her to do, and therefore prefers to look out for her prey from a tree branch.

Video with Rollerbones voices

From the video it will become clear how the bird screams and how they sing, which will allow you to identify the bird by ear.


There are 8 varieties in the classification, each of which differs in its own shades of plumage, as well as a number of features:

  • Lilac-breasted - Roller has a variegated color. The breast is lilac with the inclusion of a violet transition. The head, along with the occipital part, is green, and a white stripe is visible above each eye. The rest of the color is the same as that of the normal species. Feathered lives only in Africa and is sedentary.
  • Abyssinian is a rare species with spectacular plumage that nests in the central part of the African continent.
  • Blue-bellied - the color has a dark green tone on the back, while the head is creamy. These representatives are distinguished by pronounced territorial behavior - any stranger near the nest risks being attacked.

  • Bengal - the breast is brown instead of blue. With the onset of the mating season, males show aerobatics. The Roller loves to swim and fish. In several states of India, this bird is a symbol.
  • Sulawesian - these representatives are distinguished by a rich blue body color, as well as the presence of a gray tint on the head and tail. It is also another rare species found in Indonesia.
  • Red-haired - the bird has a small red cap made of feathers on its head, due to which the ball is so named. The breast also has a similar reddish-brown color.
  • Rocket-Tail - these representatives inhabit several countries of southeastern Africa. They owe their name to the long feathers that frame the tail.

In addition, in this family there is another rare subspecies - earthen rakshas. These representatives do not live anywhere except Madagascar. They are very agile and briskly move along the ground while searching for food. Strong and long legs help them in this.

Of this entire population, only the common species inhabits the European and southern regions of Russia.

What does it look like

The coloring of the feather cover of birds has a characteristic overflow, which looks impressive against the sky. The head, breast, as well as the wings on the inside of them contain a rich blue range with a turquoise-greenish tint.

The back of the Roller is brown, which looks more like rust. To the tail, the palette is blue-black, has a bluish tint.The wings are decorated in a peculiar way - a combination of heavenly and green shades. Along the edges, the plumage is framed with a black scale.

Character and lifestyle

It is typical for a bird to lead a migratory lifestyle. In the air, birds make intermittent and low flights. Periodically, the feathered one gains height, then "dives" down.

On the ground, he rarely moves. And all because of the strong and stocky legs, which gives the rollers more inconvenience when walking. It is for this reason that they hunt down prey from some hill.

In warm weather, the bird is most active while searching for food. And when it is cloudy or rainy outside, he sits in a secluded place.

Rollers usually fly within 100-200 meters above the ground.

What eats

Rollers are not demanding on the diet and eat almost everything that they can catch. Large insects can become their delicacy.

In spring, the menu consists of beetle representatives, and from the middle of summer it is updated with locusts. Birds also love other live food - from earthworms and small lizards to wasps and flies.

In rare cases, the Roller feeds on mice or frogs, respectively small in size. The birds are content with berries, fruits and seeds during the ripening period.

Where dwells

In forests with dense vegetation, rolling rollers cannot be seen, since these representatives prefer a different habitat:

  • deserts,
  • semi-desert,
  • steppes,
  • forest-steppe.

If in the southern part of Europe, rollers are found in Spain, France, Germany, then the entire east is completely populated by them. They can also be found in some southern regions of the Scandinavian Peninsula.

On the territory of Russia, birds can be seen in cities such as:

  1. St. Petersburg.
  2. Kaliningrad.
  3. Kazan.
  4. Moscow, including the Moscow region.

Birds also live in the eastern regions of the Urals and Altai Territory. Also, in addition to African countries, other places can be included in the list - South Siberia and Central Asia, India, Pakistan, Australia.


Birds arrange nests in abandoned woodpecker hollows. In the highlands, they look for suitable rocky crevices. In some cases, the Roller is capable of making a nest in abandoned buildings. Cracks in the walls of castles are also ideal.

Where the soil is soft, the bird is able to dig a hole of 60-70 cm and at the end of such a tunnel a spacious nesting chamber is formed, where there is often no litter.

With the onset of the mating season, the male, wishing to attract the female, begins to perform complex acrobatic techniques in front of her right in the air.

An adult makes hoarse sounds like "Cancer-Cancer". Because of this, the birds were called rakshas.

In early June, females lay 4 to 6 eggs with a diameter of about 30 mm. The incubation process takes 18-20 days, and the clutch is incubated by both parents in turn. Due to various factors, 2-3 chicks from the entire brood usually remain alive.

During the entire period of incubation and feeding of the young, the parents carefully guard the nest. The site itself is not cleaned by birds. Chicks hatch from eggs naked and blind. Adults follow them for another 4-5 weeks, feed and warm them with the warmth of their plumage.

Fledgling youngsters leave the nest, but they do not go far and are always close to their parents. The life span of an ordinary species in natural conditions is 12 years, not more.

Natural enemies

Sometimes young birds fall prey to kites. Snakes and mostly multicolored ones are able to climb into the burrows of rolling rollers and swallow both eggs and hatched chicks. In addition, foxes can destroy nests if they are located close to the ground.

In addition to this threat, there is another living enemy - infection of birds with nematodes (14 species) was recorded. Chicks run the risk of becoming victims of ixodid and gamasid ticks.

Among other enemies, it is worth noting bloodsucking flies, moths and several types of beetles - rove beetles, toddlers, darkling beetles, dead eaters.


Since the Rollers love warmth, they hibernate in the southern regions of Africa, which is why they are forced to travel a long distance. Adults leave the house in August, the young wait for September, and only then go to winter.

In the period from late April to early May, the birds return to their homeland.

Roller in the Red Book

The bird is on the verge of extinction, and therefore is listed in the Red Book. The bird is under protection in a number of Russian regions - Kaluga, Ryazan, Lipetsk and many others. At the same time, they are protected as habitats. So are the nesting zones.

The species is listed not only in international standards, in many countries where these creatures live, they also have their own protective structures for the safety of animals that are on the verge of extinction.

The main causes of extinction

The main threat to the decline in bird populations is hunting. Often this craft is practiced in the Mediterranean countries, as well as on the routes of emigration of birds. Every spring, thousands of birds are killed for their delicious meat.

In Europe, the Roller is not hunted - here is another equally worse threat. First of all, the loss of suitable areas for nesting. This happens due to various factors:

  • changes in the natural landscape,
  • a large amount of pesticides,
  • environmental pollution.

If we do not take any action, then in the future we will face the complete destruction of the entire population.

Birds are extremely sensitive to hedge dwindling.

Current population situation

In recent years, it has been noticed that the number of individuals of the entire population is decreasing. There are no exact data on the number of individuals at a specific point in time yet. However, if we take into account the situation of the 80s, when there were already few birds, the current situation fully meets the criterion of a rare species.

In particular, from the 70s to the 90s of the XX century, there was a decline in the population by 30% over three generations. Because of this, the status in the international Red Book has changed - now NT instead of LC.

Do I need to take measures to protect

Various nature conservation measures are already taking place in most European countries. Even a whole national plan has been created to save the rare population of Rollers.

The population of countries can also be involved in this process - it is enough to make nest boxes for birds.

Interesting facts about the bird

The Roller has a number of valuable features that can be surprising:

  • When the bird senses danger, a secret with an unpleasant "odor" begins to be released from the stomach. This scares off most predators and preserves the offspring.
  • A pair of birds who have created a family remain faithful to each other until the very end.
  • Rollers are ways to transfer chicks from one nest to another place, which, according to scientists, is atypical for a bird.
  • By eating a large number of insects that do a lot of harm to cultivated plants, the birds thereby save the crop from the harmful effects of pests.
  • The male differs from the female only slightly, and therefore it is almost impossible to understand who is who.

The common Roller is a real gift straight from the countries of the African continent. The task at the moment is to try to preserve this species due to the beautiful plumage of the birds.

It is also desirable to create favorable conditions for comfortable living and reproduction, which will accordingly increase the population size.

There are still questions about Rollers or have something to add? Then write to us about it in the comments, this will make the material more useful, complete and accurate.