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Kingfisher subfamilies Alcedininae (river kingfishers) and Cerylidae (water kingfishers) and their bee-eater (Meropidae family) ally are from the Coraciiformes order while the hornbill ally is from the Bucerotidae family, Bucerotiformes order.
I photographed the all the river kingfishers, the bee-eater and hornbill in Singapore and the two species of water kingfisher in Trinidad.
A migrant winter visitor to Singapore is the common or Eurasian kingfisher (Alcedo atthis); a small bird about 16cm in length and seen exclusively around water. They hunt from perches close to the water surface and plunge down to take prey mainly fish but sometimes-aquatic insects and crustaceans. I photographed them at Symphony Lake in the Botanic Gardens and the ornamental lakes in the Japanese Garden at Jurong.
The American Pygmy-kingfisher and Ringed Kingfisher, I photographed in Trinidad, the Pygmy at Caroni Swamp and the Ringed Kingfisher at the lakes in La Vaga. The Pygmy Kingfisher hunts small fish, tadpoles, small amphibians and insects while the Ringed Kingfisher mainly hunts fish.
The Black-backed Kingfisher (ceyx erithacus), also known as the Oriental dwarf kingfisher, is a migrant winter visitor to Singapore. It's one of the smallest kingfishers being only about 13 cm in length and inhabits primary and secondary forest and mangroves. The four images are of an individual hunting at the forest edge in Singapore's Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and feeding on its primary food - insects. I watched this individual hunting for around two hours, in that time it successfully captured two insects the first was dispatched quickly but the second took around five minutes to devour.
Alcedininae (River Kingfisher) family
Black-backed Kingfisher (ceyx erithacus)
Common or Eurasian Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)
Cerylinae (Water Kingfisher) family
American Pygmy-kingfisher (Chloroceryle aenea)
Ringed Kingfisher (Megaceryle torquata)
Meropidae: Blue-throated bee-eater (Merops viridis) is breeding visitor to Singapore, the breeding season is between April and September. They principally feed on bees, wasps, etc., but may also take insects such as dragonflies and occasionally fish.
Bucerotidae: Oriental pied hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris) is native to Singapore but with urbanisation could only be found on Pulau Ubin where they breed and in Changi where they go to feed on fruit in parks and gardens. However, under the Hornbill Project Singapore some have been relocated to the Istana, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Turf City, MacRitchie and Pasir Ris.
In 2015, I spotted and photographed a Hornbill near the Wetland Centre buildings at Sungei Buloh, I've now seen several breeding pairs in the reserve.
Originally listed under the traditional taxonomy listing of Coraciiformes order, hoppers and hornbills have been moved to the Bucerotiformes order.
Meropidae (Bee-eaters) family
Blue-throated Bee-eater (Merops viridis)
Bucerotidae (Hornbills) family
Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris)