Friday, June 4, 2010

A pair of white-throated kingfishers

The white-throated kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis), also known as the white-breasted kingfisher or Smyrna kingfisher, is a tree kingfisher. The birds are widely distributed in Eurasia from Bulgaria, Turkey, South Asian countries to the Philippines. Though mostly found near water bodies, it can also be found away from water where it feeds on a wide range of prey including small reptiles, amphibians, crabs, small rodents and even other small birds. During the breeding season they call loudly in the mornings from prominent perches, and even the tops of buildings in urban areas.

Local names of the white-throated kingfisher include: Aspi Chidok (Baluchistan), Dalel (Sindhi), Dao Natu Gophu (Cachar), Kalkaliyo or Safedchati Kalkaliyo (Gujarati), Khandya (Marathi), Kilkila or Kourilla (Hindi), Lakmuka or Buchegadu (Telugu), Masroka (Assamese), Neela Machhrala (Himachal Pradesh), Pilihuduwa (Sinhalese), Ponman (Malayalam), Rajamatsi (Kannada), Sandabuk Machhranga (Bengali), Vichuli (Tamil), Wadda Machhera (Punjabi).

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