The earlier Chapters are dedicated to the racket causing pigeons
in the area and to the humble house crow
, who I felt deserved a special place for just being here. I remember how we used to take sparrows for granted - do you take snaps of crow, sparrows and mynas? That's because they are around us all the time, and in plenty too - but recent studies show that the sparrow population is dwindling at an alarming rate, which is why I dedicated my earlier chapters to the commonly available birds. I wanted to appreciate their beauty while they are still around and not wait for them to go the sparrow way.
This time the spotlight is on the kingfisher
. I have seen him in my society since a long time, but it is only this year that the beautiful visitor graced the branch opposite my window sill. I was under the impression that kingfishers are birds that fed on fish and are to be found near lakes. At least, that is what the name implied.
The facts are: (Source:ecoindia.com
Common Kingfisher prefers to live near streams, slow flowing rivers, ponds and lakes.Diet :
Common kingfisher feeds on aquatic insects, small fish and prawns. They mostly hunt during the morning or evening hours.Population:
It is categorised under least concern, as they are available in large numbers.
It explains why the kingfisher chose this area as his hunting ground. The area behind my house as I say in most of my window sill posts is marshy and covered with thick undergrowth thanks to the water pipe line running there. I have seen families of mongoose and a few snakes which obviously implies that there are small aquatic creatures breeding in the area.Behavioural pattern
Earlier there used to be only one, but on two occasions I have noticed that there are two kingfishers in this habitat. They visit only after 11.00a.m. and leave by 4.00 or 5.00p.m just before sunset. I have also observed that the kingfisher is certainly a patient bird (No idea about vultures!). I have never caught them eating anything, but they do keep a watch and remain in more or less the same position for 2hours at a stretch which is why I call them 'meditating kingfishers'.Call
They have two or three types of calls - all are throaty and loud. Sometimes when it is just perched the call is rhythmic and long - like a long whistle interrupted by harsh breaks. And when it takes off it gives a short harsh call. I have not recorded it as yet, but will do so next time.Appearance
(See for yourself and check here - Its interesting how I got his photographs in every possible angle)
The kingfisher who has been around this area almost every day since December had disappeared with the onset of summer. After nearly 3 weeks I heard his call (On 27/4/08) while on the comp. and ran to look at it. It was not facing me. When H imitated its call, it immediately did an about turn and started peering. Later it again turned back and minutes later flew away. I wanted to share its pictures and its moods. Mine is a canon powershot A630
without any additional lenses.