This delightful bird is a collage of colours. The bird
is of a striking blue color with a rufous brown breast and a pail blue
abdomen and under tail. But the magnificence of its colours is best
exhibited in flight when the dark and light portions show up as
brilliant bands on the wings.
It is likely that the beauty of the bird is what inspired the Hindu
belief according to which Vishnu (the Preserver of the universe) had
once assumed the form of the Blue Jay thus making it sacred.
It is caught by some communities in western India only to be released
on the festive occasion of Dussehra and at Durga Puja (see Fairs and
Festivals). Another reason why the bird is dear to the human
inhabitants of its habitat is because it has served them well as an
effective pest controller, ridding the agricultural fields of a
variety of injurious insects which form a part of its diet other than
frogs and lizards.
¤ Easily Traceable
It is found in the subcontinent from the foothills of the Himalayas
down to the south in Sri Lanka and from Pakistan to Myanmar in the
open country and light deciduous forest patches. This roller makes a
variety of loud jarring noises and indulges in a spectacular courtship
display which involves a lot of acrobatic stunts like nose-diving and
somersaulting in air.
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