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Stork-billed Kingfisher

From Opus

Subspecies malaccensisPhoto © by the late  Laurence Poh Kramat Pulai, Perak, Malaysia
Subspecies malaccensis
Photo © by the late Laurence Poh
Kramat Pulai, Perak, Malaysia
Pelargopsis capensis

Halcyon capensis


[edit] Identification

Subspecies innominataPhoto © by darwin1601Kinabatangan River, Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia, November 2018
Subspecies innominata
Photo © by darwin1601
Kinabatangan River, Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia, November 2018

35–41 cm (13¾-16¼ in). A very large tree kingfisher.
Adult: green back, blue wings and tail, light brown head, buffy-orange underparts; very large bright red bill, orange-red eye ring, legs also red.
Sexes are similar.

[edit] Similar Species

The very large red bill makes it unmistakable.

[edit] Distribution

Tropical south Asia from India and Sri Lanka, through SE Asia to Indonesia.

[edit] Taxonomy

Previously Halcyon capensis.

[edit] Subspecies

There are 15 races, differing in plumage, for instance, P.c. gigantea found in the Sulu Islands, has a white head, neck and underparts[1]:

  • P. c. capensis from Nepal to India, Sri Lanka and north-western Myanmar
  • P. c. burmanica from Myanmar to Thailand, Indochina and south to Isthmus of Kra
  • P. c. intermedia on the Nicobar Islands
  • P. c. osmastoni on the Andaman Islands
  • P. c. malaccensis on the South Malay Peninsula, Riau Archipelago and Lingga Archipelago
  • P. c. cyanopteryx on Sumatra, Bangka and Billiton islands
  • P. c. simalurensis on Simeulue Island (off north-western Sumatra)
  • P. c. sodalis on Banyak Island (off north-western Sumatra)
  • P. c. nesoeca on Nias Island and Batu Islands (off western Sumatra)
  • P. c. isoptera on the Mentawi Archipelago (Pagai, Siberut and Sipura)
  • P. c. innominata on Borneo
  • P. c. floresiana on the Lesser Sundas (Bali, Lombok, Sumbawa and Flores)
  • P. c. javana on Java
  • P. c. gouldi on the Philippines (Balabac, Culion, Lubang, Mindoro, Palawan, Calauit)
  • P. c. gigantea (smithi) in Central and southern Philippines

[edit] Habitat

Forested areas near lakes, rivers and coasts.

[edit] Behaviour

Very territorial and will chase off large predators, such as eagles.

[edit] Diet

They will perch quietly while hunting fish, crabs, frogs, rodents and young birds.

[edit] Action

Flight is direct, but rather labored and flapping.

[edit] Breeding

They dig a hole for its nest in a river bank, rotten tree or tree termite nest, where the female lays 2-5 round, white eggs.

[edit] Vocalisation

This is a noisy kingfisher, giving a low and carrying peer-por-por about every 5 seconds, and also a cackling ke-ke-ke-ke-ke-ke.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved November 2018)

[edit] External Links


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