Birds of Morni: White-breasted Kingfisher

November 18, 2011
 White-breasted Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis) is a brilliant turquoise-blue kingfisher with a deep chocolate-brown head, neck and underparts. The chest is white, conspicous against the deep brown. The bill is long, pronounced, heavy, pointed and red in colour. A white patch on the wing shows prominently in flight. It is seen at ponds, rain puddles, paddy fields and the numerous water holes that have been dug out all over Morni for rain water harvesting. It typically perches on the overhead electricity cable and on spotting a prey (fish, tadpole, grasshopper, lizard or insect) it swoops down to capture and carry it to a new perch, battering it to kill it before swallowing it. Sometimes it preys on young birds and mice.It moves alone. It cackles in a flight. It also has a loud chattering song. It digs a horizontal hole in the earthern banks of nullahs for nesting. The bird can be spotted in the fields of Mandana. It can also be spotted on the Ghaggar river bed.

White-breasted Kingfisher, Mandana

Kingfisher grooming

 

The white breast

Filed in: Birds

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An environmental enthusiast who loves tramping through the hills in search of the picturesque.

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