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Pied Kingfisher

Pied Kingfisher
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter van Zoest (PeterZ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2016-01-13
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D90, Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD, Digital RAW
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/1000 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2016-02-18 5:21
Viewed: 1733
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 30
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis) is a water kingfisher and is found widely distributed across Africa and Asia. Its black and white plumage, crest and the habit of hovering over clear lakes and rivers before diving for fish makes it distinctive. Males have a double band across the breast while females have a single gorget that is often broken in the middle. They are usually found in pairs or small family parties. When perched, they often bob their head and flick up their tail.

This kingfisher is about 17 cm long and is white with a black mask, a white supercilium and black breast bands. The crest is neat and the upperparts are barred in black. Several subspecies are recognized within the broad distribution. The nominate race is found in sub-Saharan Africa, extending into West Asia. A former subspecies syriaca is considered as merely a larger northern bird of the nominate species (following Bergmann's rule). Subspecies leucomelanura is found from Afghanistan east into India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Laos. The subspecies travancoreensis of the Western Ghats is darker with the white reduced. Subspecies C. r. insignis is found in Hainan and southeastern China and has a much larger bill. Males have a narrow second breast-band while females have a single broken breast band.

It is common throughout sub-Saharan Africa and southern Asia from Turkey to India to China. It is resident, and most birds do not migrate, other than short-distance seasonal movements. In India it is distributed mainly on the plains and is replaced in the higher hills of the Himalayas by Megaceryle lugubris.

The Pied Kingfisher is estimated to be the world's third most common kingfisher, and being a noisy bird, hard to miss.

Behaviour and ecology
This kingfisher feeds mainly on fish, although it will take crustaceans and large aquatic insects such as dragonfly larvae. It usually hunts by hovering over the water to detect prey and diving vertically down bill-first to capture fish. When not foraging, they have a straight rapid flight and have been observed flying at nearly 50 km/h. They can deal with prey without returning to a perch, often swallowing small prey in flight, and so can hunt over large water bodies or in estuaries that lack perches that are required by other kingfishers. Unlike some kingfishers, it is quite gregarious, and forms large roosts at night. When perched, the often bob their heads up and down and will sometimes raise their tail and flick it downwards. They call often with sharp chirruk chirruk notes.

The breeding season is February to April. Its nest is a hole excavated in a vertical mud bank about five feet above water. The nest tunnel is 4 to 5 feet deep and ends in a chamber. Several birds may nest in the same vicinity. The usual clutch is 36 white eggs. The Pied Kingfisher sometimes reproduces co-operatively, with young non-breeding birds from an earlier brood assisting parents or even unrelated older birds. In India, nestings have been found to be prone to maggot infestations (probably by Protocalliphora sp.) and in some areas to leeches. Nest holes may sometimes be used for roosting.

Source: Wikipedia

marius-secan, Hotelcalifornia, lovenature, ramthakur, mamcg, CeltickRanger has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Hotelcalifornia: Tamron lensPeterZ 2 02-20 02:57
To Belgerdy: VogelreisPeterZ 2 02-18 10:37
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Peter,
What a beauty......Exceptional capture with such impressive quality....

Hello Peter,
Beautiful photograph of this Pied Kingfisher. Nice composition with good details. I waited to see the result of your Tamron 150-600mm in natural habitat. Beautiful photograph. I have done mistake to buy Nikon DSLR, lenses (over 500mm) are too expensive whether it's prime or zoom, if I compare with Canon. Are you satisfied with this Tamron 150-600mm's quality? Why didn't you go for Prime? You have been capturing bird photographs long time........
Thanks for sharing,

Mooi plaatje Peter, indrukwekkende snavel!

ben je op specifieke vogelreis geweest? Goed bevallen?


  • Great 
  • KOMSIS Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 820 W: 0 N: 2419] (10674)
  • [2016-02-18 10:01]

Hallo Peter,
Beautiful kingfisher ..
Excellent details, nice natural colors, beautiful composition and POV.
Best wishes,

A beautiful capture, great exposure and details. I need to travel more and see amazing birds like this. Thank you for the in-depth Notes about this bird. I also enjoy the negative space that adds well to this composition.

Hi Peter.
Gambia sure has amazing wildlife! An excellent portrait showing this Pied Kingfisher in his natural environment and excellent sharpness show off his interesting black and white plumage. And then there is his beak, wow, it's really impressive. It must make his life easier for catching fish and crustacean. A wonderful image all around.
TFS Janice

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2016-02-18 11:03]

Hi Peter,a beautiful decentralized composition to show us this black and White Kingfisher,perfect sharpness and exposure,i like it! Have a nice evening and thanks,Luciano

  • Great 
  • Ishi Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 298 W: 21 N: 1943] (13387)
  • [2016-02-18 13:07]

Excellent shot! Great details presented in a fine composition and interesting POV.

We have them here, too, often seen around the Sea of Galilee.

TFS, Peter,


An exceptionally beautiful image of this Kingfisher you captured in Gambia, Peter.
From your perspective, we see all the features of this bird with utmost clarity.
Thanks and regards.

hallo Peter
mooie scherpe foto mooie kleuren en leuke compositie
prachtbeest is dit weer
bedankt gr lou

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2016-02-19 16:56]

Hello Peter,
An awesome shot of this fine looking Pied Kingfisher. It's black and white markings are very beautiful and you obtained excellent eye contact with a tad bit of catchlight. The composition is wonderful against a pretty light blue BG and the exposure is perfect.

  • Great 
  • mamcg Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 333 W: 13 N: 91] (9843)
  • [2016-02-19 21:10]

wow a NOTE that need much to express ones feeling, nice gear for this catch, excellent.

Hello Peter

Great close-up shot of the Pied Kingfisher, fine POV obtaining its eye-contact,
excellent light, great focus, sharpness, and details, beautiful catch-light, TFS


Love these kingfisher and you show this one in a superbe way - thanks

  • Great 
  • periko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 70 W: 2 N: 145] (1487)
  • [2016-03-03 14:53]

Hi Peter
Amazing close up with fine details.
There are many photos of kingfisher on TN but this is one of the best.


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