The river kingfishers or pygmy kingfishers, subfamily Alcedininae, are one of many three subfamilies of kingfishers, the bird with beautiful color, attractive body shape, and sharp beak.
River kingfishers facts
This article will give an overview of river kingfishers.
The river kingfishers are widespread in Africa and east and south Asia so far as Australia, with one species, the widespread kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) additionally showing in Europe and northern Asia.
This group contains many kingfishers that truly dive for fish. The origin of the subfamily is assumed to have been in Asia.
These are brightly plumaged, compact birds with quick tails, massive heads, and lengthy payments. They feed on bugs or fish and lay white eggs in a self-excavated burrow. Each adult incubates the eggs and feeds the chicks.
River kingfishers Description
All kingfishers are short-tailed large-headed compact birds with lengthy pointed payments. Like different Coraciiformes, they’re brightly colored.
Alcedo species sometimes have metallic blue upperparts and heads, and orange or white underparts.
The sexes could also be equivalent, as with Bismarck kingfisher, however, most species present some sexual dimorphism, starting from a distinct bill color as with widespread kingfisher to a totally completely different look.
The male blue-banded kingfisher has white underparts with a blue breast band, whereas the feminine has orange underparts.
All members of this group are colorful, like this Malachite Kingfisher (left), a widespread species in sub-Saharan Africa.
Most have patterns of darkish blue, typically contrasting with shining paler blue, and shades of rufous or orange.
When one will get shut views of any of them, like this African Pygmy-Kingfisher (under) that was netted and photographed by Dale & Marian Zimmerman, the glittering colors may be astonishing.
The small kingfishers that make up the remainder of the household have blue or orange upperparts and white or buff underparts, and present little sexual variation.
Throughout the household, the bill color is linked to diet. The insectivorous species have pink payments, and the fish-eaters have black payments.
When perched, kingfishers sit fairly upright, and the flight is quick and direct. The decision is often an easy high-pitched squeak, typically given in flight.
River kingfishers Distribution and habitat
Most alcedinids are discovered within the heat climates of Africa and southern and southeast Asia. Three species attain Australia, however solely the widespread kingfisher is discovered throughout most of Europe and temperate Asia.
No members of this family are discovered within the Americas, though the American inexperienced kingfishers are believed to have derived from alcedinid inventory.
The origin of the household is assumed to have been in southern Asia, which nonetheless has essentially the most species.
The Ceyx and Ispidina species are primarily birds of moist rainforest or different woodland and aren’t essentially related to water. The Alcedo kingfishers are often carefully related to contemporary water, typically in open habitats though some are primarily forest birds.
River kingfishers Behavior
River kingfishers are monogamous and territorial. The pair excavates a burrow in an earth financial institution and lays two or extra white eggs onto the naked floor. Each dad and mom incubate the eggs and feed the chicks.
Egg laying is staggered at one-day intervals in order that if meals are brief solely the older bigger nestlings get fed.
The chicks are bare, blind, and helpless once they hatch, and stand on their heels, not like any grownup chook.
River kingfishers Feeding
The small Ceyx and Ispidina species feed primarily on bugs and spiders, but in addition take tadpoles, frogs, and mayflies nymphs from puddles.
They may flycatcher, and their pink payments are flattened to help within the seize of bugs.
The Alcedo kingfishers are sometimes fish-eaters with black payments, however, they can even take aquatic invertebrates, spiders, and lizards.
Just a few species are primarily insectivorous and have pink payments. Usually, fish are caught by diving into the water from a perch, though the kingfisher may hover briefly.
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Madagascar Pygmy-Kingfisher: a river kingfisher
This tiny magnificence is simply 7 inches (13 cm) lengthy, and hunts for frogs and bugs from a low department within the dense understory.
Due to its rufous coloration and bill form, it had been considered linked to dwarf kingfishers in southeast Asia [genus Ceyx] however genetically it’s nearer to the African species of dwarf kingfisher, which needs to be positioned within the genus Corythornis.
This knowledge counsel the sure behaviors and plumage varieties advanced individually a number of occasions within the Alcedininae.
Long forested streams where dense thickets make viewing troublesome. Regardless of their vibrant colors, most of the alcedine kingfishers are fairly onerous to see.
The Blue-eared Kingfisher (left, in a video seize by Rita Carratello) is often simply barely glimpsed as a jolt of vibrant blue disappearing by the roots of riverside vegetation in of s. Asia or the Larger Sundas.
In line with the phylogeny instructed by Marks & Willard (2005), Blue-eared Kingfisher is likely one of the “actual” Alcedo kingfishers, together with Widespread Kingfisher A. atthis and Shining-blue Kingfisher A. meeting.
A lot of the others need to be moved to Ceyx or the newly revived African genus Corythornis. Below this association, the Alcedo kingfishers are widespread in African and Eurasia, however, Ceyx turns into a genus of tropical Asian and Australasian species.
Some species of Ceyx kingfishers are endemics on islands within the western Pacific, together with Silvery Kingfisher (proper) of the Philippines.
Different endemics happen on Sulawesi and the Bismark Archipelago, with one species — Azure Kingfisher Ceyx azurea — ranging so far as New Guinea and Australia. A few of them, together with Silvery Kingfisher, are scare and native.