Indian Roller Take Off

Indian Roller Take Off. An Indian roller takes flight in the grasslands of Tal Chhapar, Rajasthan, India.

Tal Chhapar Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Northwestern Rajasthan on the fringe of the Great Indian Desert; The Thar. This small grassland habitat is surrounded by sparse scrub and dry dusty plains peppered with salt pans. Originally a hunting ground for the Maharaja of Bikaner it was declared a sanctuary in the 1960s.

India’s Grasslands are home to some of its most endangered species, many of which are endemic. This important habitat now only exists in a handful of places in India and is sadly becoming increasingly scarce.

This stunning grassland wasn’t always the paradise seen today. After decades of neglect and encroachment by the nearby salt production the sanctuary was in a sorry state. Thanks to efforts coordinated by Mr. S.S.Poonia, the range forest officer at Tal Chhapar, over the years the grassland has been transformed. After gradually stripping away the invasive plant; Prosopis juliflora a variety of grasses were planted such as Mothiya grass, a favourite of the blackbucks, which derives its name from ‘moti’ meaning pearl, as its sweet seeds look like pearls. The final result is vast swathes of pristine grassland bustling with animal life. 

Indian Roller Take Off : About the Indian Roller

The Indian roller (Coracias benghalensis) is a colourful bird found throughout Asia; from Iraq to the Indian sub continent. The largest population of rollers occurs in India, where several states; Odisha, Karnataka and Telangana have chosen the Indian roller as their state bird.

Rollers can be found in a wide range of habitats, including farmland, urban areas, forest, and grassland. Primarily carnivores, their diet includes insects, reptiles and amphibians. 

“The Indian roller is very common in the populated plains of India and associated with Hindu legends. A local Hindi name of this bird is Neelkanth, meaning “blue throat”; this name is associated with the deity Shiva (who drank poison resulting in the blue throat).” –

You can find out more about Indian Rollers here.


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Indian Roller Take Off. An Indian roller takes flight in the grasslands of Tal Chhapar, Rajasthan, India.


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