Immature Dollarbird perched on a thin branch

What does it look and sound like? The name is derived from a large blue-white spot on each wing, resembling American dollar coins in size and shape.  The remaining plumage is dark brown, glossed with blue-green on the back and wings.  The bill is orange-red, finely tipped with black. The distinctive, harsh “kak-kak-kak” call is repeated several times, and is often given in flight.

Where does it live? The Dollarbird is a migrant to northern and eastern Australia from New Guinea, the Solomons and the Philippines. It arrives in September each year to breed. 

What are its habitats and habits? The Dollarbird is the sole Australian representative of the Roller family, so named because of their rolling courtship display-flight.  In northern and eastern Australia, it inhabits open wooded areas, normally with mature, hollow-bearing trees.  It requires hollows for nesting, and the three to four white eggs are cared for by both parents.  The young birds are fed on flying insects.  Although the breeding season ends in about January each year, the Dollarbird remains in Australia until about April.

Scientific name: Eurystomus orientalis 

Size: 26 to 31 cm

Do you want to know the best places to go to see this species? Check out our book “Australia’s Birdwatching Megaspots” – available for purchase through our secure online store