July 29, 2017 – Half-collared Kingfisher (Alcedo semitorquata)
Found in parts of southern and eastern Africa, these kingfishers frequent rivers, streams, and estuaries. They eat small fish, crabs, frogs, and aquatic insects and their larvae, hunting from a perch, then diving into the water to catch their prey. Pairs dig nest burrows in riverbanks and both parents incubate the eggs.
May 29, 2017 – Green-backed Kingfisher or Blue-headed Kingfisher (Actenoides monachus)
These kingfishers are found only in north and central Sulawesi in Indonesia. They eat invertebrates, especially large centipedes and beetles, often hunting from perches. Not much is known about their breeding behavior, but they are thought to lay their eggs between February and March. They are classified as Near Threatened by the IUCN due to destruction of forests in their range.
November 14, 2016 – Banded Kingfisher (Lacedo pulchella)
Requested by: @thefireinthewire
These tree kingfishers are found in Southeast Asia, in parts of Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia. They eat a variety of insects, including grasshoppers, katydids, and crickets. Laying their eggs between January and May, they dig into rotting tree trunks and possibly stream banks to build their nests. Their call is a long whistled “wheeeoo” sound which they usually make from high perches.
September 18, 2016 – Forest Kingfisher (Todiramphus macleayii)
These kingfishers are found in northern and eastern Australia. They eat a variety of invertebrates, as well as small lizards, frogs, and worms. Hunting mostly from low perches, they drop onto prey on the ground, catch it in the air, or pluck it from shallow water, returning to a perch to eat. Monogamous pairs build nests together in tree cavities, banks, the roots of fallen trees, or arboreal termite mounds. When building in termite nests, each bird flies directly at the mound with their beak pointed forward, slowly excavating a nest chamber with a short, sloped tunnel at the entrance. Both parents and several helpers from the last breeding season incubate the eggs and feed the chicks.
September 8, 2016 – Silvery Kingfisher (Alcedo argentata)
These small kingfishers are found only in the Philippines. There are two subspecies, which have slightly different plumage and are found on different islands. Hunting from low perches, they dive into water to capture small fish and crabs, often beating them against a branch before swallowing them. Probably laying their eggs in February or March, they nest in burrows in stream banks. They are classified as Vulnerable by the IUCN due to habitat destruction, including deforestation and water pollution. Though some of their habitat is in protected areas, tree-cutting, agricultural expansion, and soil erosion still pose threats in these places.
July 6, 2016 – American Pygmy Kingfisher (Chloroceryle aenea)
These small kingfishers are found from Central America through much of South America, into northeast Argentina. They catch small fish and frogs, tadpoles, and insects from low perches near water. Females lay their eggs in unlined burrows in river banks or mounds of earth. Smaller than most kingfisher species, they are about five inches (13 cm) long.
April 28, 2016 – Guam Kingfisher or Micronesian Kingfisher (Todiramphus cinnamominus)
Requested by: @birdies-be-free
Once found on the island of Guam, these kingfishers are extinct in the wild and now exist only in captive breeding programs. They eat insects, crustaceans, and lizards, hunting from perches and swooping down to catch their prey. Nesting in rotting trees, pairs excavate a cavity together with their large beaks. Both parents incubate the eggs and care for the chicks. Their population declined quickly on Guam due to predation from the invasive Brown Tree snake and possibly feral cats. The species was declared Extinct in the Wild in 1986, when the remaining 29 individuals were taken into captivity in the hope that a breeding program could lead to a future reintroduction. The current captive population is around 124 birds living in a variety of facilities in the United States.