Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Thailand definitely is a good place for Kingfisher lovers. Many can be seen on phone wires along highways or near mangroves. Several occupy open woodlands and not everyone feed exclusively on fish.
The following 3 species are only found in forested areas.

This incredibly attractive male Banded Kingfisher is often heard but can be quite tricky to see inside the forest. I am not sure if it actually ever feeds on fish. I was watching it come to feed its young and all the prey were bugs, scorpions, spiders and lizzards.

I sat in a hide for 4 hours. The male only came twice during that time

But the female came a lot more often. As usual they took perch on a branch a few meters from the nest before entering. I believe the chick was about a week old.
Their nest was inside a termite nest on an old log.

This little jewel: Black-backed Kingfisher (Oriental Dwarf) on the other hand has its nest in a burrow on a bank near a stream. The birds kept feeding all kinds of insect including fish. They would come every 5 minutes to bring food. I understand that the chick left the nest successfully only 2 days later.
Outside of the breeding season I basically never see this bird. It is so small and prefers the streams of deep forests.


The last bird is another stream dwelling bird that I found at Sri Pangnga National Park in the South. On the day I visited the chick fledged so I didn't get many shots nor watch the adults bring feed to the chicks.

Blue-banded Kingfisher


John said...

Woodland kingfishers - brilliant birds and great photos !

Stu said...

Superb Kingfisher shots. I was in Thailand back in the late 90's and saw 6 or 7 species of Kingfisher, wish I'd had a camera with me then.........