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14

Dollarbird

(Eurystomus orientalis)
Alternate name(s): "Oriental Roller", "Oriental Dollarbird", "Dollar Roller". "Broad-billed Roller"
Size: 25-29 cm
Weight: 125 g (average)
Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Dollarbird at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Race "pacificus"

ADULT

Frontal view of an adult Dollarbird; note the characteristic blue throat patch and the black tip of its bill (photo courtesy of R. Druce)

For comparison, two frontal views of Dollarbirds perched in trees; when sitting out in sunlight, one can discern the subtle colour pattern (left), while when sitting in the shade and/or being illuminated from behind (right) the bird is very inconspicuous, with dark green/grey/brown colours, except for its orange bill
[Eulah Creek, NSW, November 2007/2015]

Lateral view of a Dollarbird
[Moree, NSW, November 2011]

Lateral view of a Dollarbird; note the blue patch on its throat and the prominent orange bill
[Moree, NSW, November 2011]

The same Dollarbird as shown above, slightly different posture
[Moree, NSW, November 2011]

Lateral view of a Dollarbird from below; this is the Dollarbird whose calls were recorded on 31 October 2014

Dorsal view of a Dollarbird from below

This is not seen often by us - a Dollarbird on the ground; in this case on our driveway

Dollarbird seen preening
[Moree, NSW, November 2011]

Wonderful view of a Dollarbird in flight; the colour display is magnificent, showing a variety of blue and turquoise hues (photo courtesy of C. Kellenberg)

Frontal view of a Dollarbird in flight, with the turquoise patches clearly visible (photo courtesy of A. Campbell)
[Laguna, NSW, December 2012]

Frontal view of a Dollarbird in flight - now the turquoise patches look like thin stripes (photo courtesy of R. Druce)

Not a good shot, but one can see on the wing the bird is stretching the characteristic, dollar-size white spot
[Moree, NSW, November 2011]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Near-lateral view of a young Dollarbird in distress (photo courtesy of L. Tonnochy)
[Near Townsville, QLD, March 2016]

Lateral view of a young Dollarbird in distress (photo courtesy of L. Tonnochy)
[Near Townsville, QLD, March 2016]

Frontal view of a juvenile Dollarbird; note, most prominently, the dark-grey bill
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, January 2009]

The same Dollarbird as above, turning the other cheek
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, January 2009]

Behaviour

Social behaviour: Territorial Mobility: Migratory Elementary unit: Pair

We have noticed over the years that, without exception, all Dollabirds spotted by us were seen close to a creek- or riverbed, even if these were dry at the time. Dollarbirds seem to have a strong preference for life in River Redgums.

Food, Diet

Like all other members of the roller family (seen by us in Oman), Dollarbirds feed on large insects, such as e.g. cicadas, that they catch in flight and on small reptiles that they take from the ground.

Call(s)/Song

For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

dollar_20140130.mp3 pacificus
(NW NSW)
Contact call © MD
dollar_20141031.mp3 pacificus
(NW NSW)
Contact calls © MD
dollar_20141031_2.mp3 pacificus
(NW NSW)
Contact/territorial call sequence © MD
dollar_20141019_b.mp3 pacificus
(NW NSW)
Various © MD

In the recording taken on 19 October 2014 we were not able to separate the various Dollarbird calls from those of other bird species without distorting the sound characteristics. Everything from low "kek - kek" contact calls to what sounds like the laugh of Frankenstein's monster is a Dollarbird call. Higher-pitched calls are from other species picked up in the background.

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

Would you like to contribute photos or sound recordings to this site?
If interested, please CLICK HERE. Credits to contributors are given HERE.