Sunday, January 31, 2016

An Illustrated Life List: Dollarbird

International Edition!
From a visit to Khao Yai National Park, Thailand during our honeymoon visit eleven or so years ago. Our awesome tour guide Mr. Nine called it a Baht-bird, the best cross-cultural birding joke I've ever heard. Ok, maybe the only one I've ever heard, but still pretty amusing.
The Dollarbird, Eurystomas orientalis is a member of the roller family, the Coraciidae. Not a familiar family to me, there aren't any rollers in North America, where the bulk of my birding has occurred. The closest relatives we find here are in the kingfisher family, the Alcedinidae, with only the Belted Kingfisher, Megaceryle alcyon being widespread. Rollers and kingfishers are members of the order Coraciiformes, which contains two hundred plus species, the majority of which are found outside of the Americas.