From: Alice Taylor
Three Nests of Critically Endangered European Roller Found in Albania

Three more nests of the European Roller have been found in Albania.

The species of bird which is experiencing a rapid population decline in Europe is migratory and travels from the southern part of Africa, across the Sahara, over the Mediterranean Sea, and into Europe to breed and raise their young.

Two years ago in Albania, a team from the Albanian Ornithological Society found a nest belonging to one of the birds but did not observe an individual. The sighting of this nest prompted a further investigation which led the team to find three new nests in the country.

The European Roller is usually discreet with its movements, making it hard to track. AOS said that the high level of its feeding activity during these months was crucial in helping them to pinpoint the location of the nests. Rollers would circle around the sky for a few moments before landing in their nests to feed their young

In one location, the Roller was found alongside some Bee-eaters who had established a colony nearby.

The European Roller is found in a range of habitats including treeless plains and bushy plains. They have brightly coloured blue and turquoise plumage and measure between 29-32cm in length. The birds have a wingspan of around 55cm with orange/brown feathers at the base and tip of the wing. Their preferred diet includes grasshoppers, crickets, and beetles.

AOS said the news has made them feel optimistic about the nesting population of the species, but that it is still a Critically Endangered Species in Albania. They said it will take a lot of time and effort before we can expect to see more of these birds in the sky.