Africa's most colorful bird, Lilac Breasted Roller

This is the third time I paint a Lilac Breasted  Roller, for me personally it is quite a challenge because of all the color tones, this is Africa’s most colorful bird.

This bird stands about 14.5 inches tall and, as the name suggests, has pale purple feathers on its chest, with a few tangerine and white feathers mixed in. The face is a very light, nearly yellow that fades into green. The bird's back is a cinnamon brown, and this color extends slightly to the wings. The long, narrow tail is blue-aqua with black streamers, the rest of the body a brilliant aquamarine. When the lilac-breasted roller takes to the skies, you will be able to see its stunning wings. From below, the white wings appear to have been dipped in royal blue ink, check out my previous painting of a lilac breasted roller in flight. From above, the tips are still vividly blue, but there is some teal coloration as well. 

The painting in progress, the base colors have been blocked in partially, below the reference photograph

The painting in progress, the base colors have been blocked in partially, below the reference photograph

Lilac Breasted Roller

Lilac Breasted Roller

Rollers are named after their habit of twirling and somersaulting during courtship. They will dive suddenly during flight when trying to attract mates, and make loud calls while doing so. When it comes time to make a nest for their eggs, these birds will often steal tree nest-holes from woodpeckers and other tree-dwelling birds.

Photograph showing Lilac Breasted Roller in flight, a symphoney of color

Photograph showing Lilac Breasted Roller in flight, a symphoney of color

Lilac-breasted rollers feed primarily on insects such as grasshoppers, but they also snack on small amphibians, lizards and crabs. In fact, lilac-breasted rollers have also been observed to feed on animals fleeing from forest fires, as they are fast fliers. They can be observed near grasslands and other open spaces.