Order Coraciiformes / Kingfishers, Rollers, and Bee-eaters


Order Coraciiformes

Order Coraciiformes is a diverse and colorful bird order. The ornithologists consider the rollers as the leading family of this order, and the other families are in some way related to them. Due to the diversity, it is hard to find general features of this bird order, but the most frequent are listed below.

Suggested Reading: All Bird Orders

Coraciiformes Pronounciation

The word Coraciiformes originates from the Latin language which means “Raven-Like” (i.e., Coracii – Raven & formes – form). Ironically, the ravens belong to another bird class passerines.

There are 6 direct families in order Coraciiformes:

  • Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
  • Brachypteraciidae (Ground Rollers)
  • Coraciidae (Rollers)
  • Meropidae (Bee-eaters)
  • Momotidae (Motmots)
  • Todidae (Todies)

Order Coraciiformes Characteristics

Here are the common characteristics of birds in Coraciiformes:

  • These colorful birds in this order include the kingfishers, the bee-eaters, the rollers, the motmots, and the todies.
  • Most of the birds in this order have the front three toes fused at the base. This phenomenon is called Syndactyly.
  • The legs of Coraciiformes are short, and the feet are weak.
  • One of the typical features of this order is a long and large bill.
  • Most Coraciiformes have a large head as well.
  • The neck in coraciiform birds is usually short.
  • Most of the species spend a significant part of their life on trees.
  • Coraciiformes are spread out in all parts of the world except the cold regions such as antartica, greenland or russia.
  • Most of the species in this order have a very bright, colorful plumage with different distinct patterns.

Coraciiformes Species

Here are some of the examples of the birds that belong to this order:

  • Abyssinian roller, Coracias abyssinicus
  • Purple dollarbirds
  • Belted kingfisher, Megaceryle alcyon
  • Black-faced kingfisher
  • Rosy bee-eater, Merops malimbicus
  • Madagascar bee-eater
  • Tody mormot
  • Broad-billed tody, Todus subulatus
  • Puerto Rican tody, Todus mexicanus
  • Crested Kingfisher, Todus mexicanus

Cite this article as: "Order Coraciiformes / Kingfishers, Rollers, and Bee-eaters," in Bio Explorer, March 6, 2021, https://www.bioexplorer.net/order-coraciiformes/.

Key References

  • “Coraciiformes – kingfishers, hornbills | Wildlife Journal Junior”. Accessed June 06, 2019. Link.
  • “ITIS Standard Report Page: Coraciiformes”. Accessed June 06, 2019. Link.



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