Stork Billed Kingfisher
Description, behaviour, feeding and habitat
The Stork-billed Kingfisher (Pelargopsis capensis) (formerly Halcyon capensis), is a tree kingfisher which is widely but sparsely distributed in the tropical Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia, from India and Sri Lanka to Indonesia. This kingfisher is essentially resident throughout its range. This is a very large kingfisher, measuring 35 to 38 cm (14 to 15 in) in length.The adult has a green back, blue wings and tail, and grey head. Its underparts and neck are buff. The very large bill and legs are bright red. The flight of the Stork-billed Kingfisher is laboured and flapping, but direct. Sexes are similar. There are 15 races, mostly differing in plumage detail, but P. c. gigantea of the Sulu Islands has a white head, neck and underparts. The call of this noisy kingfisher is a low and far reaching peer-por-por repeated every 5 seconds or so as well cackling ke-ke-ke-ke-ke-ke.
Stork-billed Kingfisher is a species of a variety of well-wooded habitats near lakes, rivers or coasts. It perches quietly whilst seeking food, and is often inconspicuous despite its size. It is territorial and will chase away eagles and other large predators. This species hunts fish, frogs, crabs, rodents and young birds.Stork-billed Kingfisher digs its nest in a river bank, decaying tree, or a tree termite nest. A clutch of two to five round white eggs is typical.
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion . For this reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.The global population size has not been quantified. However, the species is reported to be widespread and generally sparse but locally common.
I have photographed this elusive beauty in Karkala, Mangalore with Canon EF 300mm F4L IS USM lens, mounted on a Canon EOS 7D, hand held & I outrightly thank my friend & mentor Mr.Shiva Shankar, for the time & knowledge shared with me & enlightening me on birds, their habitat & conservation.