Monday, 1 August 2016

White-throated Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis)

OTHER NAMES: White-breasted Kingfisher*, Smyrna Kingfisher 
Latin Etymology: Halcyon ("kingfisher") smyrnensis ("of the town of Izmir")
Adult White-throated Kingfisher (subspecies H. s. perpulchraat Bishan Park, Singapore - February 2019

Featured Subspecies: Halycon smyrnensis perpulchra
Weight: 60-88g  /  Length: 26-28cm  /  Wingspan: 40-43cm
NO UK STATUS IUCN Red List: Least Concern

Coming from Britain with our single small and elusive species of kingfisher, the White-throated Kingfisher is both surprisingly large and surprisingly ubiquitous.  Most notably perhaps of the contrasts though is that it is not strictly associated with water - while I did see them along rivers and streams, I also saw them in such incongruous locations as on a lamp-post over a motorway or on the power-lines over a railway.  This is a result of their more varied diet - unlike the fish specialist Common Kingfisher, here they are more general predators who also hunt lizards and invertebrates.

Related Species:
Order: Coraciiformes
Family: Alcedinidae
Genus: Halycon
SUBSPECIES: H. s. smyrnensis, H. s. fusca, H. s. saturatior, H. s. perpulchra, H. s. fokiensis, H. s. gularis* 

 - Sighting Locations -
MALAYSIA - Malay - Pekaka Dada Putih ("White-Chested Kingfisher")
Fairly common resident.
 - MALAYSIA/SINGAPORE 2016 TRIP: Seen in small numbers throughout the trip in many locations including Kuala Lumpur
SINGAPORE - Fairly common resident.
 - MALAYSIA/SINGAPORE 2019 TRIP: One at Bishan Park and a later bird in Ang Mo Kio.

Further Notes: BirdForum Opus, IUCN Red ListRSPB, Wikipedia, Xeno-canto    

*This is another case of name confusion based on splits - the White-breasted Kingfisher is a Philippine equivalent Halycon gularis, which is either regarded as a full species of a subspecies of this one.

No comments:

Post a comment