Ryan Photographic -Alcedinidae - Kingfishers
Family Alcedinidae - Kingfishers
The family Alcedinidae is familiar to most people. There are currently 114 species known, distributed over 19 genera. Although found on all continents (except Antarctica) they reach their peak diversity in Africa, Asia and Oceania. They are characterized by a large head and beak and small legs. Most species are brightly colored. Although thought of as fish eaters, plunge diving for prey, many dine on arthropods and small vertebrates.
Most kingfishers nest in tunnels in clay banks or even in termite mounds. I was in the Fijian rainforest taking photos when I was suddenly growled at by what sounded like a tiger. Bewildered, and fighting back an unwanted shot of adrenalin, I looked for the source. It came again, but this time I was prepared. It was emanating from a termite mound a few meters up a large tree. Closer examination revealed an entrance hole and more noise. From the recesses of my brain I suddenly remembered that the Fijian kingfisher (shown below) builds its nests in the mounds. I never thought to check if the termites still occupied the mound. If so, how do the kingfishers survive?
Ceyx azureus Azure kingfisher
Ceyx azureus Azure kingfisher, Solomon Islands. If this looks like it was taken at night that's because it was!
Dacelo leachii Blue-winged kookaburra
Dacelo leachii Blue-winged kookaburra, captive IMG_7062
Dacelo novaeguineae Laughing kookaburra
Dacelo novaeguineae Laughing kookaburra, Captive, Australia IMG-2744
Halcyon chloris white-collared kingfisher
Halcyon chloris White-collared kingfisher, Kadavu, Fiji IMG_7361
Halcyon chloris white-collared kingfisher, Kadavu, Fiji