Kingfisher

Kingfisher looking for fish!

Our nature is totally perplexed with diversity. Flora and fauna, birds and animals all are so systematically arranged that those are very hard to separate from one another. Here today I am going to portray my knowledge on Kingfishers observable around India.


 

SMALL BLUE KINGFISHER 

 

SMALL BLUE KINGFISHER 

 

SCIENTIFIC NAME :

Alcedo atthis

SIZE :

Slightly bigger than a house sparrow

FIELD CHARACTERS :

A dapper, blue-green, little kingfisher, with deep rust colored underparts, short stumpy tail and long, straight, pointed bill. Sexes alike. Singly by stream, tank or puddle ; perched on an overhanging branch or flying swiftly over the water.

DISTRIBUTION :

Throughout the Indian Union ; Three races on size and details of coloration.

HABITS :

From time to time  as the bird sits scanning the water from an over-hanging branch, it bobs its head, turning it this side and that, and jerks its stub tail to the accompaniment of a subdued click. A sharp high frequency sound is uttered as it dashes off at top speed, low over the water surface, from one corner of its beat to another. Its normal method of hunting is to drop bill foremost upon its quarry from an overhanging branch.

FOOD : Small fish, tadpoles and aquatic insects.

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WHITE-BREASTED KINGFISHER

 

WHITE-BREASTED KINGFISHER

 

SCIENTIFIC NAME :

Halcyon smyrnensis

SIZE :

Between Myna and Pigeon

FIELD CHARACTERS :

A brilliant turquoise-blue kingfisher with deep chocolate-brown head, neck and underparts, a conscious white ‘shirt front’ and long heavy, pointed red bill.  A white wing-patch prominent in flight. Sexes alike. Singly, in cultivated and wooded country, both near and away from water.

DISTRIBUTION :

Plains and lower hills throughout the Indian Union.

HABITS :

The most familiar of our kingfishers and also the least dependent upon the water. Seen at ponds, puddles, rain-filled ditches, inundated paddy fields and near the seashore, but also in light forest at considerable distances from water. From a favorite lookout on electric wire or post, it pounces down on creeping prey and flies off with it to another perch near by where the victim is battered to death and swallowed.

FOODS :

Fish, tadpoles, lizard, grasshoppers, crab and other insects. Occasionally also young birds and mice.

CALL :

A loud cackling chiefly uttered in flight. Also has a loud, not unmusical, frequently-repeated chattering song, delivered from a tree-top or some exposed elevated perch.

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STORK-BILLED KINGFISHER

 

STORK-BILLED KINGFISHER

 

SCIENTIFIC NAME :

Halcyon capensis

SIZE :

Slight less than a pigeon

FIELD CHARACTERS :

Head brown, upper parts pale greenish blue, underparts pale yellowish brown or ochraceous. Easily distinguished from all other brightly colored kingfishers by its large size and enormous, compressed blood-red bill. Sexes alike. Singly, or separated pairs at forest streams.

DISTRIBUTION :

Practically the entire Indian Union (excepting Rajasthan and adjacent arid portions)

HABITS :

Affects well-watered country, and except in Bengal & Assam where it is commonly seen on electric wires along the railway, keeps to shady forest streams, jungle pools,and swampy glades. Also mangrove and Pandanus-lined tidal creeks. Sits on branches overhanging water, hidden by foliage. Seen chiefly when coursing up and down forest streams. Its method of  hunting resembles that of the Small Blue Kingfisher, but it does not hover and plunge from the air.

CALL :

A raucous, explosive chattering ‘ke-ke-ke-ke-ke (accent on first ki). Also utters a pleasant soliloquy peer-peer-pur when resting  contentedly on some branch.

FOOD :

Fish, crab, reptiles, frogs, and occasionally also young birds and eggs from nests.


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BLACK-CAPPED KINGFISHER

 

BLACK-CAPPED KINGFISHER

 

SCIENTIFIC NAME :

Halcyon pileata

SIZE :

Same as white-breasted kingfisher.

FIELD CHARACTERS :

Deep cobalt blue above ; pale rusty below. A velvety black cap on head separated from back by a prominent white collar on hind neck. Bright collar red bill. In flight, a large white patch in wing (primaries) conspicuous and diagnostic. Sexes alike. Singly, near the seacoast.

DISTRIBUTION :

Practically the entire coastline of India south of Bombay, also Andaman and Nicobar.

HABITS :

Affects the seacoast and tidal rivers, frequently ascending along these for considerable distance inland in forested country. Mangrove swamps bordering tidal creeks are favorite haunts. Except that is largely dependent on the presence of water, chiefly salt or brackish, for its food.

CALL :

Like the White-Breasted Kingfisher’s, but somewhat shriller.

FOOD :

Fish, crabs, etc.


 

COLLARED KINGFISHER

 

COLLARED KINGFISHER

 

SCIENTIFIC NAME :

Todiramphus chloris

SIZE :

Length 9.5 inch

FIELD CHARACTERS :

Crown and upper parts greenish blue; a prominent white collar merging into the white underparts. A black band from eye to eye encircling crown. White supercilium and white patch under eye. Bill and legs and feet black. Base of lower mandible pinkish or yellowish white.

DISTRIBUTION :

Coastal areas of West Bengal, a race recorded from the Ratnagiri area of Maharashtra and a race each from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

HABITS :

Affects mangrove swamps and coastal cultivation. Often seen far from water.

FOOD :

Crabs, mud skipper fish, insects.

CALL :

A harsh, unmusical krerk-krerk-krerk, very vocal in the morning and in the breeding season.


 

ORIENTAL DWARF KINGFISHER

 

ORIENTAL DWARF KINGFISHER

 

SCIENTIFIC NAME :

Ceyx erithacus

SIZE :

Sparrow-; length c. 13 cm (5 in.).

FIELD CHARACTERS :

A magnificent small kingfisher with dark purple-blue or lilac mantle, bright amethyst blue back and rump. Orange-yellow underparts and bright coral red bill and three toed legs.

DISTRIBUTION :

E. and NE. India, south along the Western Ghats to Kerala nd W. Tamil Nadu spreading over during the rains to breed in areas not seen otherwise. Also Andaman and Nicobar; .

HABITS :

A habit of shady jungle streams in moist-deciduous and evergreen forests. Keeps Singly rocky nullahs.

FOOD :

Small fish, insects and crustaceans.

CALL :

Similar to but Sharper than that of the Small Blue Kingfisher.


 

BLUE-EARED KINGFISHER

 

BLUE-EARED KINGFISHER

 

SCIENTIFIC NAME :

Alcedo meninting

SIZE :

Sparrow; length c. 16 cm (6 in.).

FIELD CHARACTERS :

Very similar to the Small Blue Kingfisher but a deeper purplish blue, white neck patches absent. Blue ear coverts contra ferruginous. An exclusively forest species.

DISTRIBUTION :

Eastern India, West Bengal, Bihar. Orissa, Eastern Ghats, Western Ghats from Goa to W. Tamil Nadu. Also middle and south Andaman Is.

HABITS :

Confined to Forests preferably evergreen or bamboo facies. Keeps singly to stretches of forest streams.

FOOD :

Fish and aquatic insects.

CALL :

Similar to Common Kingfisher’s but shriller.


 

LESSER PIED KINGFISHER

 

LESSER PIED KINGFISHER

 

SCIENTIFIC NAME :

Ceryle rudis

SIZE :

Between Myna nd Pigeon.

FIELD CHARACTERS :

A speckled and barred black-and-white kingfisher with the typical, stout, dagger-shaped bill. Female similar to male but with a single black gorget broken in the middle, as against two more or less complete ones in the male. Singly or pairs, by streams and tanks, perched on rock or hovering above water. The Himalayan Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle lugubris), (now Greater Pied Kingfisher Megaceryle liugubris) much larger and with a prominent crest, replaces this species above 800 m in the Himalayas.

DISTRIBUTION :

Throughout the plains of India, excepting Kerala to which is confined the much darker environment.

HABITS :

Frequents rivers, irrigation tanks and tidal creeks. Usually seen perched on a favorite rock or stake near water, flicking up its tail and bobbing its head now and again. Its chief characteristic is its spectacular method of fishing. It hovers stationary for considerable periods, 10 m or so above the water, ‘standing on its tail’, and hurls itself. wings pulled in at the sides, at fish coming up within striking depth. On emergence With the quarry, the bird flies off to a convenient rock where the victim is battered before  swallowed.

CALL :

A sharp, cheery chirruk, chirruk uttered on the wing. Food: Fish, tadpoles frogs and aquatic insects.


RUDDY KINGFISHER

 

RUDDY KINGFISHER

 

SCIENTIFIC NAME :

Halcyon coromanda

SIZE :

Length c. 26 cm (10.5 in.).

FIELD CHARACTERS :

Cinnamon colored with white rump conspicuous in flight. Bill and feet bright red.

DISTRIBUTION :

Sub-Himalayan terrain and dooars and Eastern India, W.Bengal (Sundarban), Andaman, Bangladesh. Subject to migratory movements as yet unknown. A specimen has been obtained in Tamil Nadu (Chengalpattu Dist.).

HABITS :

Shy. Keeps singly or in pairs to dense waterside vegetation. More often heard than seen.

FOOD :

Fish, crabs and insects.

CALL :

Same as that of White breasted Kingfisher but louder and less tinny.


 

For More 3 Follow : 

http://www.walkthroughindia.com/birds/12-species-of-kingfishers-found-in-the-indian-subcontinent/


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