Dollarbirds got their name from the two silvery white circular patches
underwing, that flash as they fly. These look like shining American
silver dollar coins.
Dollarbirds eat mainly insects, and appear particularly fond of
hard-skinned flying insects like beetles. But they will take any large
insect or even feed on swarming insects. They also catch other small
Dollarbirds are aerial feeders. Like other Rollers, they are flying
acrobats, wheeling and swooping about. They catch insects on the wing,
with their short flat bills that are broad at the base. But they may
also take insects and lizards from on the ground. Large insects are
brought back to the perch, to be beaten to death and to knock off less
edible bits like hard wing cases.
Feeding alone or in pairs, Dollarbirds are frequently seen perching
on high vantage points like dead trees or telephone wires, keeping a
lookout for a passing titbit
They feed in the cooler afternoon and evening. During away during the
hottest part of the day, they may hide away or simply remain motionless
on their favourite perch.
Breeding: Dollarbirds breed in Singapore. The courtship flight
display includes steep dives and rolls, accompanied by a low rapid
croaking. They nest in hollow trees including dead coconut palms or dig
out burrows in earth banks; good nest sites are re-used every year. 3-4
white eggs are laid; the eggs are rather pointed at one end. Both
parents incubate and raise the young. Incubation takes 17-20 days and
the chicks fledge in about a month.
Migration: Some Dollarbirds that breed in China and Japan visit
Singapore in April-May. The adults leave the breeding area first, the
young following later. They don't migrate in huge flocks, but travel in
two's or even alone, usually during the day. In Singapore, Dollarbirds
are found in mangroves, open country, scrub and forest edges and