Classification The Cuckoo Roller is the only bird in the order Leptosomiformes, which is at the root of a clade that includes Trogoniformes, Bucerotiformes, Piciformes and Coraciiformes.

The Cuckoo Roller is a medium-large bird, inhabiting forests and woodlands in Madagascar and the Comoro Islands. It occupies a wide variety of habitats, including altered areas, rainforest, litoral forest, deciduous forest, spiny bush-forest and tree plantations. In the Comoros, the species is found on all the major islands, mainly in forested zones. The Cuckoo Roller lives from near sea-level up to 2000 m.

Cuckoo Rollers feed on insects, particularly locusts and caterpillars. Stomach have often been found lined with the hairs of caterpillars, and other prey taken include grasshoppers, stick insects and geckos. The principal foraging technique is to perch motionless watching for prey, then to make a quick sally towards the prey when observed. They will also forage from the air. Prey is caught in the large bill and dispatched by beating it against a branch.

The Cuckoo Roller is described as being very tame, and it is generally not disturbed by the inhabitants of Madagascar, many of which have legends and myths about the species. It is regarded by many as a good omen and the harbinger of clear weather. It tendency to be seen in pairs also has brought about an association with couples and love.

Hackett et al (2008): Phylogenomic Studies of Birds