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The Indian Roller (Coracias benghalensis), formerly also called the Blue Jay is a member of the roller family of birds that is found tropical southern Asia from Iraq to Thailand. It is not migratory, but undertakes some seasonal movements. They are found in open grassland and light forest areas. It is known for the aerobatic displays of the male during the breeding season. Males and females are however not readily distinguishable. Several states in India have chosen it as their symbolic bird.
The Indian Roller is a stocky bird about 26-27cm long and can only be confused within its range with the migratory European Roller. The breast is brownish unlike as in the European Roller. The crown and vent are blue. In flight the primaries and secondaries show bright shades of blue.[2]

Three subspecies are usually recognized. The nominate form is found from West Asia (Iraq, Arabia) to Bangladesh and north of the Vindhyas ranges. The subspecies indicus is found in peninsular India and Sri Lanka. The race affinis of northeastern India and Southeast Asia (Thailand, Yunnan, Indochina) is sometimes considered a full species, but within the Indian region, it is seen to intergrade with benghalensis. nan, Yunnan), and S to peninsular Thailand and Indochina. The form affinis is darker, larger and has a purplish brown and unstreaked face and breast.[2]

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Additional Photos by Zahoor Ahmed (zahoor_salmi) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 59 W: 0 N: 171] (1053)
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