The dollarbird is the sole Australian representative of the roller family. Photo: Contributed.
The dollarbird is the sole Australian representative of the roller family. Photo: Contributed.

DOLLARBIRD: A cashed up migrant from PNG

The Dollarbird is the sole Australian representative of the Roller family, so named because of their rolling courtship display flight.

It has a dark brown head and neck with blue-green on the back, breast and wings and the throat has a flush of bright blue.

The short, thick-set bill is orange-red, tipped with black.

The underside of the wings have pale blue coin-shaped patches and someone with a vivid

imagination thought they looked like dollar coins hence the name.

Both sexes are similar, although the female is slightly duller.

Young Dollarbirds are duller than the adults and lack the bright blue gloss on the throat.

The bill and feet are brownish in colour instead of red.

They are skilful aerial hunters and fly out from a high perch in a tree to catch insects.

Often when flying they will give their distinctive 'kak kak kak'call.

This will especially occur when they are breeding when a pair will engage in spectacular rolling flights and call to each other.

The Dollarbird visits Australia from PNG each year to breed and usually arrives from late September to late October.

They nest in tree hollows and they often use the same hollow each year.

Three to four eggs are laid and both parents incubate the eggs and feed the young chicks. Aussie Backyard Bird Count

The Aussie Backyard Bird Count is taking place during the week of October 19-25 and anyone can participate.

It is a great way to connect with the birds in your backyard and each count only takes 20 minutes.

You can download the app from the App Store at here which has a bird finder to help you

identify birds.

Have fun and get the whole family involved.

Allan Briggs is the secretary of BirdLife Capricornia. You can contact him with your bird questions at abriggs@irock.com.au



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