B lu e b r e aste d Kl ngf is h er

I ypical of thicket-dwelling kingfishers, this bird is stoutly built, with a shorter and blunter bill than those of plunge-diving species. It lives in forests bordering open country, also occurring in mature secondary forest (where trees have rcgrown after forest clearance) and in mangrove swamps. Watching from a perch, it swoops down to take insects and other small creatures. It will occasionally dive for fish. The usual call is a far-carrying scries of 7-10 slow, plaintive whistling notes, falling in pitch and volume.

• NliST An unlined cavity, bored in the side of a tree-termite nest.

• Dis tribution bright blue Tropical W. Africa.

with upwardly curved lower mandible


base for perching


white ear tu ft


Plumage Scxcs aMke


Migration partia| mi>,rant white ear tu ft


Common Kingfisher

Small and active, this kingfisher hunts along streams and on the banks of rivers and lakes. It moves in fast, direct flight, revealing a bright blue rump patch. Watching from a perch, it plunges into the water to take small fish or crustaceans, returning to the perch to swallow them. It has a short, shrill call.

• NEST An upward-sloping tunnel in a bank near water

• DISTRIBUTION Eurasia and N. Africa east to Japan and south to Indonesia and S.W. Pacific; northern birds migrate south within this range.

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