Banded Kingfishers

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Banded Kingfisher, Lacedo pulchella

 

Banded Kingfisher, Lacedo pulchella The Banded Kingfisher, Lacedo pulchella, is a tree kingfisher found in the lowland tropical forests of Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos. Malaysia, Sumatra, Java and Brunei. It is extinct in Singapore. It is the only member of the genus Lacedo.

 

Description

The Banded Kingfisher is a 20 cm long kingfisher with a sturdy red bill and a short crest which is slowly raised and lowered. It shows striking sexual dimorphism compared to most of its relatives. The adult male has a chestnut forehead, cheeks and nape, and a bright blue cap. The rest of the upperparts, wings and tail are black with blue bands. The breast, flanks and undertail are rufous, and the central belly is white.

The adult female is equally striking, with black-and-rufous-banded upperparts, and white underparts with some black bars on the chest and flanks. Young birds are duller than the adult of the same sex, have a brown and orange bill, and dusky barring on the underparts.

 

Calls / Vocalizations

The call is a long whistled wheeeoo followed by 15 repetitions of chiwiu in 17 seconds, the second syllable gradually fading away. The Banded Kingfisher will respond to imitations of its call.

 

There are three subspecies:

  • L. p. pulchella, the nominate race, breeds in Malaysia south of 7oN, Sumatra and Java.
  • L. p. amabilis breeds from northern Malaysia northwards. It is slightly larger than the nominate form. The male has a blue nape, and the female is more rufous than pulchella.
  • L. p. melanops breeds in Brunei. The male has a black forehead, cheeks and nape.
 

Behaviour

This is a bird of lowland rainforest found up to 1700 m in Brunei, but normally below 1100 m altitude in the rest of its range. Unlike most kingfishers, it does not need pools or streams in its territory.

The nest is a hole in a rotting tree trunk, or sometimes in the spherical nest of tree termites. Two to five white eggs are laid.

The Banded Kingfisher hunts large insects and occasionally small lizards, usually taken in the trees, but sometimes from the ground.

 

Status

This species is uncommon but widespread in much of its range. It is rare in Java, very rare in Sumatra and extinct in Singapore.

 

References

  • Fry, Fry and Harris, Kingfishers, Bee-eaters and Rollers ISBN 0-7136-1410-8
  • Robson, Craig. A Field Guide to the Birds of Thailand ISBN 1843309211
 

External links

 

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