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Pied Kingfisher


Pied Kingfisher
Photo Information
Copyright: Sujoy Bhawal (sujoybhawal) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 70 W: 0 N: 406] (2181)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2012-02-25
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon 7D
Exposure: f/8, 1/640 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2012-04-20 9:14
Viewed: 2681
Points: 4
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This is another one from my Botswana visit. It would have been better if the pied kingfisher was sitting in a tree rather than the man made wooden plank, however we cant do much to change that. This was a close encounter with the kingfisher and I hope you will like it. Thanks for standing by.

The Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis) is a water kingfisher and is found widely distributed across Africa and Asia. Their black and white plumage, crest and the habit of hovering over clear lakes and rivers before diving for fish makes it distinctive. Males have a double band across the breast while females have a single gorget that is often broken in the middle. They are usually found in pairs or small family parties. When perched, they often bob their head and flick up their tail.

This kingfisher is about 17 cm long and is white with a black mask, a white supercilium and black breast bands. The crest is neat and the upperparts are barred in black. Several subspecies are recognized within the broad distribution. The nominate race is found in sub-Saharan Africa, extending into West Asia. A former subspecies syriaca is considered as merely a larger northern bird of the nominate species (following Bergmann's rule). Subspecies leucomelanura is found from Afghanistan east into India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Laos. The subspecies travancoreensis of the Western Ghats is darker with the white reduced. Subspecies C. r. insignis is found in Hainan and southeastern China and has a much larger bill. Males have a narrow second breast-band while females have a single broken breast band.

This kingfisher feeds mainly on fish, although it will take crustaceans and large aquatic insects such as dragonfly larvae. It usually hunts by hovering over the water to detect prey and diving vertically down bill-first to capture fish. When not foraging, they have a straight rapid flight and have been observed flying at nearly 32 mph.In Lake Victoria in East Africa the introduction of the Nile perch reduced the availability of haplochromine cichlids which were formerly the preferred prey of these birds.

This species was initially believed to be descended from an ancestral American green kingfisher which crossed the Atlantic Ocean about 1 million years ago. A more recent suggestion is that the Pied Kingfisher and the American green kingfishers are derived from an Old World species, with the Pied Kingfisher or its ancestor losing the metallic colouration afterwards.

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Critiques [Translate]

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  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2012-04-20 9:59]

Hi Sujoy.
What a cute species. I have not seen it before. Despite the bad light condition image is detailed perfectly and exposure precisely. Diagonal composition of the shot glance of the bird are superb. My compliments and TFS.
Alexei.

hello Sujoy
this is a beauty with great details and very nice colours
thanks greeting lou

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