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Sacred Kingfisher Bird Species Information, Diet

Filed under: Bird Species — Tags: — Nik @ 6:24 am

Sacred Kingfisher Bird

A medium-sized bird, the Sacred Kingfisher is about 22 to 23 cm long. The head, shoulders, rump and tail are a dusky turquoise, with brilliant turquoise wings. It has a broad white collar, while the areas like the throat and chin are buff-colored darkening to light ochre. A broad black stripe runs from its bill to the eyes and right up to the neck. There is a little black on the feathers of its wings too, while the feet range from black to dark grey-brown. Females are almost similar, but the colors, especially of the upper body, are slightly dull and light. The young birds too, are almost similar, but have a rusty-brown edging on the underside, wings and collar.

Sacred Kingfisher Habitat

The Sacred Kingfisher is commonly found throughout the coastal areas of Australia. They can be found inland too, almost all over Australia where there are rivers or lakes, except in the most arid parts of the continent. They are also found, in slightly lesser numbers, around New Zealand, Tasmania, and in the small islands right up to Indonesia. They usually migrate to northern parts of Australia in winter, returning south in the spring, which is their breeding season. The Sacred Kingfisher likes to inhabit mangroves, woodlands, wooded rivers, as well as open eucalyptus and paperbark forests.

Sacred Kingfisher Breeding and nesting

The Sacred Kingfisher is mainly a solitary bird, which pairs up only to breed. Breeding is during spring and summer. They usually lay two clutches in a season. The male and female co-operate in making a nest. This is usually in the hollow limbs of dead trees or fence posts, and are located a few meters above the ground for safety reasons. But sometimes, they also make their nest in a small burrow in the soft banks of a river or in a termite mound. The chamber of the nest is kept unlined. The female lays 3 to 6 eggs, with both parents taking turns to incubate them. The male and female also co-operate in rearing, feeding and defending their nest and chicks.

Sacred Kingfisher Diet

The Sacred Kingfisher has a varied diet and eats insects like grasshoppers, beetles, crickets and larvae. They also eat small reptiles, fish and crustaceans. The kingfisher sits motionless on a wire or branch, looking intently for prey. When it spots something worthwhile, it swoops down from its perch, grasps its prey in its bill and returns back to its perch to swallow it.