Uttarakhand. The Indian roller is very common in the populated plains of India . Hindu legends It is said to be sacred to Vshinu, and used to be caught and released during festivals such as Dussera or the last day of Durga puja A local Hindi name is neelkanth,meaning “blue throat”, a name associated with the deity Shiva who drank poison resulting in the blue throat. Adding its chopped feathers to grass and feeding them to cows was believed to increase their milk yield.The Indian roller has been chosen as the State Bird by the Indian states. The Indian roller is a stocky bird about 26–27 cm long and can only be confused within its range with the migratory Eurpean roller. The breast is brownish and not blue as in the European Roller. The crown and vent are blue. The primaries are deep purplish blue with a band of pale blue. The tail is sky blue with a terminal band of Prussian blue and the central feathers are dull green. The neck and throat are purplish lilac with white shaft streaks. The bare patch around the eye is ochre in colour. The three forward toes are united at the base. Rollers have a long and compressed bill with a curved upper edge and a hooked tip. The nostril is long and exposed and there are long rictal bristles at the base of the bill.Three subspecies are usually recognized.
The feeding behaviour of this roller and habitat usage are very similar to that of theBlack drogno During summer, they may also feed late in the evening and make use of artificial lights and feed on insects attracted to them. hey are attracted to swarms of winged termites, and as many as 40 birds have been seen to perch on a 70-metre stretch of electric wires. in the numbers of these birds seen along roadsides in northern India has been noted.A study on roosting behaviour found that immediately after waking up, the birds spend a few minutes preening followed by flying around their roosting sites. Favoured perches include electric or telegraphic wires. They have also been observed perching in trees and shrubs. Rollers tend mostly at a heights of 3–9 m height from where they forage for ground insects. They may also use taller perches and obtain insects from the upper canopy of trees.
The breeding season is March to June, slightly earlier in southern India. Displays when perched include bill-up displays, bowing, allopreening, wing drooping and tail fanning. Holes created by woodpeckers or wood boring insects in palms are favoured for nesting in some areas. Nest cavities may also be made by tearing open rotten tree trunks or in cavities in building. The cavity is usually unlined and is made up mainly of debris from the wood. The normal clutch consists of about 3-5 eggs. The eggs are white and broad oval or nearly spherical. Both sexes incubate the eggs for about 17 to 19 days. The young fledge and leave the nest after about a month. Nearly 80% of the eggs hatch and fledge.
The call of the Indian roller is a harsh crow like chack sound The bird bathes in open water by plunge-diving into it, a behaviour often interpreted as fishing But it may occasionally attempt fishing from water.