Thursday, March 5, 2009

White Throated Kingfisher


White Throated Kingfisher
(Halcyon smyrnensis)

  • Description: This is a large kingfisher, 28 cm in length. The adult has a bright blue back, wings and tail. Its head, shoulders, flanks and lower belly are chestnut, and the throat and breast are white. The large bill and legs are bright red. The flight of the White-throated Kingfisher is rapid and direct, the short rounded wings whirring. In flight, large white patches are visible on the blue and black wings. Sexes are similar, but juveniles are a duller version of the adult. There are four geographic races differing mainly in the plumage shades, but H. s. gularis of the Philippines has only the neck and throat white. Race fusca is found in Peninsular India and Sri Lanka and is slightly smaller, bluer and with a darker brown underside than the nominate race found in northwestern India. Race saturatior is found in the Andaman Islands and is larger with darker brown underparts. Race perpulchra (not always recognized) is found in northeastern India and is smaller than fusca with paler underparts. Albinism has been noted on occasion.
  • Local Names:  Hindi: Kilkila, Kourilla;Himachal Pradesh:Neela machhrala; Punjabi: Wadda machhera; Bengali: Sandabuk machhranga; Assamese: Masroka; Cachar: Dao natu gophu;Gujarati: Kalkaliyo, Safedchati kalkaliyo; Marathi: Khandya; Tamil: Vichuli; Telugu: Lakmuka, Buchegadu; Malayalam: Ponman; Kannada: Rajamatsi.
  • Nesting: The White-throated Kingfisher begins breeding at the onset of the Monsoons. In its courtship display it spreads out the wings with bill raised high to show the white patterns. Some perform a courtship flight, flying straight up then spiralling downwards. White-throated Kingfishers nest in steep earth banks besides roads and stream, and occasionally, termite mounds. They dig out a tunnel about 7 cm wide, 50 cm to nearly 1 m deep ending in a breeding chamber about 20 cm in diameter. During the construction period, the mated pair are very vocal and call and display to each other continuously. 4-7 white eggs are laid. Both parents raise the chicks.
White Throated Kingfisher with a Prey (Toad)
  • Habits & Habitat: White-throated Kingfisher is a common species of a variety of habitats, mostly open country with trees, wires or other perches. The range of the species is expanding. It perches conspicuously on wires or other exposed perches within its territory, and is a frequent sight in south Asia. This species mainly hunts large insects, earthworms, rodents, snakes, fish and frogs.

6 comments:

  1. hii
    nice blog i ve come across.wish u can give details of the camera n equipment.
    hope to c more blogs by u
    regards
    prashant

    ReplyDelete
  2. Bonsoir,
    An interesting environmentalist photoblog..Nice shots..Bravo!

    ReplyDelete