Halcyon pileata, Black-capped Kingfisher, Cekakak Cina

Written by on November 19, 2010 in Indonesia Bird with 0 Comments
Halcyon pileata, Black-capped Kingfisher, Cekakak Cina



Black-cappedKingfishers are common winter visitors that resemble the resident White-throated Kingfishers in look and call. Black-capped Kingfishers, however, are more quiet than their smaller resident cousins and more wary and hard to approach closely.

Black-capped Kingfishers have a broad diet. Those near the coast eat mainly crabs and fish. Those elsewhere eat mainly insects, particularly those that live near water (dragonflies, water boatmen), but also stinging insects like bees and wasps. Occasionally, frogs and small reptiles are caught.

Black-capped Kingfishers hunt in open areas, keeping a lookout for prey from a favourite high perch (1-2m above the water or ground). They only rarely plunge into water to catch aquatic prey. Black-capped Kingfishers are solitary hunters and aggressively territorial. They may chase off not only other Black-cappeds but also other species of Kingfishers which use similar hunting techniques.

Breeding: Black-capped Kingfishers nest along river banks. Both parents dig out the nest tunnel, up to 60cm deep. 4-5 eggs are laid.

For more about the hunting methods and breeding habits of Kingfishers in general.

Migration: Black-capped Kingfishers are the most northerly breeders in their genus. They breed in northern Asia from India through Myanmar to China and Korea and do not appear to breed further south than Indochina and Thailand. Those found in Singapore are migrants that breed in Myanmar and China. They migrate alone or in pairs, faithfully following traditional routes, going as far south as Borneo, Sumatra and Java. They arrive in September and leave in April.

Status and threats: Black-capped Kingfishers are not considered at risk in Singapore. They are found mainly in freshwater habitats, open ponds, reservoirs, rivers, coasts. But elsewhere, they can also be found in drier inland habitats and up to 1,000m high.

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