Bot Nav Bar Outline Box

Copyright © 2005-2017 Ray Plowman All Rights Reserved

Follow me on Facebook Purple images website banner Follow me on Facebook

River and Water Kingfishers and their Allies Photographed in Forest/Woodland near Water Habitat

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.

River Kingfishers (Alcedininae) and Water Kingfishers (Cerylinae)

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.

Featured River and Water Kingfishers

Coraciiformes order

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)

Kingfisher Allies (Meropidae and Bucerotidae)

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.

Featured Kingfishers Allies

Coraciiformes order

Meropidae (Bee-eaters) family

Blue-throated Bee-eater (Merops viridis)

Bucerotiformes order

Bucerotidae (Hornbills) family

Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris)

Black-backed Kingfisher (ceyx erithacus), Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Singapore, 2016 Black-backed Kingfisher (ceyx erithacus), Eating an Insect, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Singapore, 2016 American Pygmy-kingfisher (Chloroceryle aenea), Caroni Swamp, Trinidad, 2015 Common or Eurasian Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) Japanese Garden, Jurong, Singapore, 2015 Black-backed Kingfisher (ceyx erithacus), Eating an Insect, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Singapore, 2016 Black-backed Kingfisher (ceyx erithacus), Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Singapore, 2016 Ringed Kingfisher (Megaceryle torquata), La Vaga, Trinidad, 2015 Common or Eurasian Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) with fish, Singapore, 2013 Blue-throated Bee-eater (Merops viridis) Botanic Gardens, Singapore Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris), Pulau Ubin, Singapore Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris), Sungei Buloh, Singapore, 2015 Blue-throated Bee-eater (Merops viridis) Botanic Gardens, Singapore