White-throated Kingfisher Photo Guide

I invite you to take a brief tour through images of beautiful bird which is the most familiar kingfisher near human habitations.This bird is present throughout India.

White-throated kingfisher halcyon smyrnensis

Photo Courtesy of Manjith Kainickara @ Kerala, Apr 2010

This beautiful kingfisher has a chocolatey head and belly with a white throat and breast. The bird’s back and tail are a brilliant blue.In flight, large white patches are visible on the blue and black wings.You can observe the same from this beautiful capture by Rahul Alvares.White-throated kingfisher in flight1

Photo Courtesy of Rahul Alvares @ Pilerne Lake,Goa Dec 2012

You might have noticed this bird is as often found in gardens, open forest etc. as it is near ponds and other water bodies.That is because this is a tree kingfisher.So,they are not confined to eating just fish and water-insects. They feed on earthworms,grasshoppers,lizards and other non-aquatic “normal” insects.

White throated kingfisher halcyon smyrnensis Displaying

Photo Courtesy of Akshay_Charegaonkar @ Mulund,Mumbai, Jul 2012

The above photo is a lovely capture of the courtship display of the white-breasted kingfisher.The male is the one displaying and the female is the one watching.From this photo you can see that both male and female look the same.The young birds are a duller version of the adults.

Breeding season falls mainly from March till July.The nest is a tunnel dug on the banks of rivers and streams.Note that in each region,the breeding falls at a time when rivers are not flooding their banks due to snow melt or the monsoons. Both parents share the duties of tunnel digging and feeding the young.White-throated_Kingfisher_(Halcyon_smyrnensis)_at_nest

Photo Courtesy of J.M. Garg @ Sanjeevaiah Park, Hyderabad, May 2009

Look at the inegnious way this kingfisher has solved his housing problem! He really is making a bold attempt to adapt to rapid urbanization.This photo highlights another important aspect – the protective power of local parks!

1.White-throated kingfisher page @ Wikipedia
2.The Book of Indian Birds By Salim Ali,Published by The Bombay Natural History Society,1941
3.The Birds of Southern India By Baker, H. R., and C. M. Inglis.,1930
4.The fauna of British India including Ceylon and Burma. Second edition. Vol.4 By E.C. Stuart Baker,1927

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