It is not possible to confuse this species with any other species in the Iberian Peninsula.
Both sexes have a similar appearance, although with close attention it is possible to sex them by the following characteristics: the male has an intense blue nape and the secondary coverts are small and medium and uniformly blue. On the other hand, the female has a nape with blue and green mixed feathers. Its small and medium secondary coverts with some green touches. In general, the female can have somewhat more subdued colors.
It is possible to recognize 3 different ages:
Juvenile specimen: it looks like the adult specimen, but with more subdued plumage and new. The outermost rectrix (R6) without a black mark at the tip.
2nd year specimen: similar to the adult, but having the large coverts and flight feathers and rectrices of the juvenile worn.
Adult specimen: in spring/summer with contrasted colors. The flight feathers and rectrices are visibly worn. The outermost rectrix (R6) with a black mark at the tip.
The European Roller undergo a complete post-nuptial molt. The molting of the body feathers and flight feathers begins in the breeding areas in June. This molt begins with the first primaries and first secondaries. It is suspended before migration and completed in its wintering areas. The post-juvenile molt is a partial molt performed in the wintering areas and includes only body feathers, lesser and median coverts, and part of the tail (frequently the central and most external pairs of feathers). There is a pre-nuptial molt in both types of age that includes only body feathers.
Primaries: 10 per wing.
Secundaries: 13 per wing.