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Pied Kingfisher

Pied Kingfisher
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter van Zoest (PeterZ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2010-05-05
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D300, AF Nikkor 70-300mm f4-5.6 G, Digital RAW
Exposure: f/10.0, 1/400 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2015-12-30 8:45
Viewed: 1953
Points: 22
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
In a few weeks Im going back to Gambia to photograph wildlife, specially birds. In 2010 I was in Senegal and Gambia, but not only for the nature. It was more a cultural tour.
I got some un-posted photos of that trip. This photo is made in the harbour on a fishing boat.

The Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis) is a water kingfisher and is found widely distributed across Africa and Asia. Its 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.

It is common throughout sub-Saharan Africa and southern Asia from Turkey to India to China. It is resident, and most birds do not migrate, other than short-distance seasonal movements. In India it is distributed mainly on the plains and is replaced in the higher hills of the Himalayas by Megaceryle lugubris.

The Pied Kingfisher is estimated to be the world's third most common kingfisher, and being a noisy bird, hard to miss.

Behaviour and ecology
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 50 km/h. They can deal with prey without returning to a perch, often swallowing small prey in flight, and so can hunt over large water bodies or in estuaries that lack perches that are required by other kingfishers. Unlike some kingfishers, it is quite gregarious, and forms large roosts at night. When perched, the often bob their heads up and down and will sometimes raise their tail and flick it downwards. They call often with sharp chirruk chirruk notes.

The breeding season is February to April. Its nest is a hole excavated in a vertical mud bank about five feet above water. The nest tunnel is 4 to 5 feet deep and ends in a chamber. Several birds may nest in the same vicinity. The usual clutch is 36 white eggs. The Pied Kingfisher sometimes reproduces co-operatively, with young non-breeding birds from an earlier brood assisting parents or even unrelated older birds. In India, nestings have been found to be prone to maggot infestations (probably by Protocalliphora sp.) and in some areas to leeches. Nest holes may sometimes be used for roosting.

Source: Wikipedia

shaukatmi, iti, Hussain58, Hotelcalifornia, CeltickRanger has marked this note useful
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Hi, Peter. Another lovely portrait of the Pied Kingfisher with its head turned as if it is hearing something. I have not seen this variety of Kingfisher but it is a pleasure to watch and of course To photograph them if possible but they move very fast. Good sharpness, with details and a nice note. Thanks for sharing.

Hallo Peter
Bedankt en jij ook een gelukkig nieuwjaar met een vakantie tegoed, dit is een lekker begin van het nieuwe jaar
Leuke foto van deze ijsvogel met prachtige kleuren
groet lou

  • Great 
  • iti Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 577 W: 0 N: 650] (7939)
  • [2015-12-30 10:27]

Hi Peter,
Amazing natural colors and nice contrast against the blue background.
Excellent composition with sharpness details.
Again, very well done.
Cheerful end of the year and happy New Year to you and your family.
Regards Jiri.

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2015-12-30 11:11]

Hi Peter,the quality isn't the best,maybe you cut a lot to have a god view but the details are a bit grained.No problem,this is a great memory from a plce that i visited me too and full of opportunities.Happy new year and thanks,Luciano

Hello Peter,
A happy New Year to you. Yes, as Shaukat sahib has observed, indeed a wonderful shot of this Pied Kingfisher which is the largest one here where I live in Pakistan. The sun in the bird's eye and his eye is on you, what can be better than this.....smile, thanks a lot for sharing a fine shot, take care,
Best regards/Abid

Hello Peter,
Pin sharp photo with nice natural colors and excellent details. I like this lovely specie of bird. Perfect capture with such natural colors, taken from a very good POV. Nice contrast against the background.

Hi Peter
You've captured the Pied Kingfisher in a great pose. It shows off his powerful beak perfectly. Great lighting and detail offer a nice portrait.
TFS and Happy New Year!

Hello Peter,

Beautiful presentation of this Pied Kingfisher. Excellent pose. Good work....
Thanks for sharing,

Wish you have a nice and prosperous new year 2016 and have a nice trip to Gambia,
Regards and looking forward to see so many different species,

Hello Peter

Excellent shot of the Pied Kingfisher with fine POV obtaining its head turned
eye-contact, the catch-light rendering the photo more beautiful, TFS


Ciao Peter, beautiful kingfisher in nice pose, fantastic colors, fine details and splendid sharpness, very well done, my friend, hapoy new year, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2015-12-31 15:11]

Hello Peter,
An attractive image of this beautiful Pied Kingfisher. I like it's curious head twist as if trying to keep a close eye on you. Wonderful eye contact and natural colors. Sharply focused displaying it's plumage off in good detail.

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