Distribution

Laughing Kookabi jrra

I largest of the kingfishers, this bird occurs in dry country, well away from water. It lives in open forest and woodland, where it swoops down from its perch to snatch insects, lizards, snakes, rodents, and small birds. Young birds stay with their parents for several years as "nest helpers." Pairs and their helpers utter cackling calls, with heads stretched up and tails raised, to advertise possession of their territory. The bird's name is an imitation of these calls.

• NEST An unlined cavity in a trunk or branch.

shaggy rrts! in partly raised position breast band of male in hovering flight blunt, heavy bill dark eye stripe

Pied Kingfisher

Boldly patterned in black and white, with a short, shaggy crest, this conspicuous plunge-diving bird frequents waters of many kinds, from coasts and rivers to inland marshes. It usually hunts in (light, pausing and hovering, with body almost vertical and head looking down, before plunging to catch a fish, crustacean, or large insect. This bird is noisy, with high pitched, squeaky calls. 1 NEST A burrow in a sandy bank, with a layer of regurgitated fish scales and bones.

Africa, Middle East, India, and S.E. Asia.

with upwardly curved lower mandible base for perching spangled pattern made by wh ite • feather tips bright blue wing m coverts

legs used mainly for perching

Family AlXKDINIDAK

Species Dactlotyro

Plumage Scxes ,||ikc

Habitat fff

Migration Non.mififanl

Species Iju/f-yM/ malimbica

Spangled Kookabi jrra

I'his is a large, thicket-dwelling kingfisher with spectacular plumage. It is common within its range, occurring in monsoon forest, at the fringes of swamps, and in thickets in savanna (tropical grassland). Usually it perches low in a bush or tree, scanning the ground for food. It feeds on a variety of invertebrates, including beetles, ants, and stick insects. 1'his bird is sometimes seen in small flocks, and it is possible that, like its Australian relatives, the Spangled Kookaburra has a complex social system that includes "helpers" at the nest. The call is a gurgling noise, followed by a rattling, even pitched laughing sound. Birds also utter a single, loud "kurk" note.

• NliST A hole in the side of a tree-termite nest, often as much as 16'/: ft (5 m) above the ground.

• Distribution

Lowlands in S. New Guinea and the Am Islands DlSTRlKlrriON (off S.W. New Guinea).

legs used mainly for perching spangled pattern made by wh ite • feather tips bright blue wing m coverts

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