Hookbilled kingfisher

Melidora macrorrhina

SUBFAMILY

Halcyoninae

TAXONOMY

Dacelo macrorrhinus Lesson, 1827, Manokwari, New Guinea. Three subspecies.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

French: Martin-chasseur d'Euphrosine; German: Hakenliest; Spanish: Martin Cazador Ganchudo.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

11 in (27 cm), 3.1-3.9 oz (90-110 g). Large kingfisher, brown above and white (male) or buff (female) below. Feathers of crown are black with blue (male) or green (female) edges. Long bill has hooked tip with dark brown above and pale below.

DISTRIBUTION

New Guinea and some adjacent small islands. HABITAT

Lowland rainforest, both primary and secondary, and also agricultural plantations.

BEHAVIOR

Calls at dusk, dawn, and throughout moonlit nights; one to three whistles followed by one to four short, high-pitched notes. Bill often is caked with mud.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Feeds on large insects and frogs, probably by digging in soil. Main activity is at twilight and during the night.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

5 in (12 cm) wide nest chamber dug into active nests of arboreal termites. Lays two to three eggs; male incubates eggs and broods chicks by day. Collect food for chicks by day and night.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened, but little known due to its nocturnal habits.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

None known. Attractive to bird-watching tourists. ♦

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