Black-capped kingfisher

Halcyon pileata

The black-capped kingfisher is a tree kingfisher which is widely distributed in tropical Asia from India east to China, Korea and Southeast Asia. This most northerly of the Halcyonidae is resident over much of its range, but northern populations are migratory and they wintering south of their range to Sri Lanka, Thailand, Borneo and Java. It is distinctive in having a black cap that contrasts with the whitish throat, purple blue wings and the coral red bill. The species is mainly found in coastal and mangrove habitats but can sometimes be found far inland.
Black-capped Kingfisher Another kingfisher off my list! :) Geotagged,Halcyon pileata,India,John Rowell,Odisha,Orissa,Wildlife,Winter,adhocphotographer,bhitarkanika,black-capped kingfisher

Appearance

This kingfisher is about 28 centimetres long. The adult has a purple-blue wings and back, black head and shoulders, white neck collar and throat, and rufous underparts. The large bill and legs are bright red. In flight, large white patches or "mirrors" at the base of the primaries are visible on the blue and black wings. Sexes are similar, but juveniles are a duller version of the adult and show streaks on the throat. The call of this kingfisher is a cackling ''ki-ki-ki-ki-ki''.

Usually seen on coastal waters and especially in mangroves, it is easily disturbed, but perches conspicuously and dives to catch fish but also feeds on large insects. The flight of the black-capped kingfisher is rapid and direct, the short rounded wings whirring.

The breeding season is in summer. The nest is a tunnel in an earth bank. A single clutch of 4-5 round white eggs is typical.

A subspecies ''palawanensis'' has been described but the species is considered to be monotypic with no clear plumage differences across their range.
Black capped kingfisher || Sundarbans || Oct 2017 
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 Black-capped kingfisher,Halcyon pileata

Distribution

The species is found mainly near the coast in mangrove forests and along estuaries and rivers. The distribution ranges from India , Sri Lanka, Kansu, Shansi, Korea, Malay Peninsula, Thailand, Burma, Ryu kyu Islands, Hainan, Philippines , Borneo, Sumatra east to Sulawesi where it occurs only in winter. Vagrants in winter have been recorded in Pakistan while movements related to rainfall may lead to their being found far inland and away from their usual distribution.
DSC_1225  Black-capped kingfisher,Halcyon pileata

Habitat

The species is found mainly near the coast in mangrove forests and along estuaries and rivers. The distribution ranges from India , Sri Lanka, Kansu, Shansi, Korea, Malay Peninsula, Thailand, Burma, Ryu kyu Islands, Hainan, Philippines , Borneo, Sumatra east to Sulawesi where it occurs only in winter. Vagrants in winter have been recorded in Pakistan while movements related to rainfall may lead to their being found far inland and away from their usual distribution.

Cultural

Like many other kingfishers, this species was much sought for the blue feathers for their use in the millinery trade. Feathers were used in making fans in China. In Hong Kong, their feathers were cut and glued over ornaments used by women.

References:

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Taxonomy
KingdomAnimalia
DivisionChordata
ClassAves
OrderCoraciiformes
FamilyAlcedinidae
GenusHalcyon
SpeciesH. pileata
Photographed in
India