Oriental dollarbird

The Oriental dollarbird (Eurystomus orientalis) is a bird of the roller family, so named because of the distinctive blue coin-shaped spots on its wings. It can be found from Australia to Japan and India.

Oriental dollarbird
Dollarbird Samcem Dec02.JPG
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Coraciiformes
Family: Coraciidae
Genus: Eurystomus
E. orientalis
Binomial name
Eurystomus orientalis
(Linnaeus, 1766)
Eurystomus orientalis distr.png
Distribution of the oriental dollarbird

Coracias orientalis Linnaeus, 1766

Taxonomy and systematicsEdit

The oriental dollarbird was originally described in the genus Coracias. Formerly, some authorities have also considered the broad-billed roller and the azure dollarbird to have been subspecies of the oriental dollarbird. Alternate names for the oriental dollarbird include the Asian dollarbird, dark roller, dollar roller, dollarbird, eastern broad-billed roller and oriental broad-billed roller.


Subspecies E. o. solomonensis (front), illustration by Keulemans, 1892

Ten subspecies are recognized:[2]


The oriental dollarbird has a length of up to 30 cm. It is dark brown but this is heavily washed with a bluish-green sheen on the back and wing coverts. Its belly and undertail coverts are light coloured, and it has glossy bright blue colouring on its throat and undertail. Its flight feathers are a darker blue. Its bill is short and wide and in mature animals is coloured orange-red with a black tip. It has very light blue patches on the outer parts of its wings which are highly visible in flight and for which it is named. The females are slightly duller than the males but overall the two are very similar. Immature birds are much duller than the adults and do not have the blue colouring on their throats. They also have brown bills and feet instead of the red of the adults.[3]

Distribution and habitatEdit

The oriental dollarbird is found from Australia to Japan and India. It breeds in northern and eastern Australia between the months of September and April and winters in New Guinea and nearby islands. The birds prefer open wooded areas with hollow-bearing trees to build nests in.

Behaviour and ecologyEdit

The oriental dollarbird is most commonly seen singly with a distinctive upright silhouette on a bare branch high in a tree, from which it hawks for insects, returning to the same perch after a few seconds.



  1. ^ BirdLife International (2016). "Eurystomus orientalis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2016: e.T22682920A92968881. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22682920A92968881.en.
  2. ^ "IOC World Bird List 7.1". IOC World Bird List Datasets. doi:10.14344/ioc.ml.7.1.
  3. ^ http://www.birdsinbackyards.net/species/Eurystomus-orientalis

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit

  Media related to Eurystomus orientalis at Wikimedia Commons