Eurystomus orientalis

The Dollarbird, the only member of the Roller family to reach Australia, is a summer breeding migrant that spends the southern winter in New Guinea and nearby islands.

Dollarbirds are noisy and conspicuous and individuals seem to have favourite spots to perch, such as on dead tree tops or power poles. Their feeding technique is to catch large insects (such as cicadas, moths and beetles) by darting out from a high perch or hawking over trees. Dollarbirds have been reported each year from about 40 per cent of sites. This may be because they find breeding sites within the suburbs, as they nest in cavities in tall trees.

Their annual pattern is among the most consistent of Canberra’s birds with a single peak most years in January. The first birds appear in September with the last few records in April. Numbers seem to have gradually declined over the survey. Interestingly, the lowest number of Dollarbirds was reported during 1992-93 – a year when the Rainbow Bee-eater was absent.

Breeding has been recorded 34 times, from 22 sites. Dollarbirds are generally solitary except immediately after breeding. Dependent young have been reported from late December to early March. R=47. BR=28.

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