Friday, Oct 24, 2014

Chestnut-bellied Kingfishers aka Vanuatu Kingfishers

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The Chestnut-bellied Kingfisher (Todiramphus farquhari) - also called Vanuatu Kingfisher or Grey-headed Kingfisher - is a medium-sized kingfisher found only on the islands of Espiritu Santo, Malo and Malakula in Vanuatu.

They inhabit dense rainforests in the interior of the islands, particularly above 200m.


Description

The Chestnut-bellied Kingfisher measures 19-21cm in length and weighs 32-42 grams.

The plumage is dark blue above with richly-colored orange underparts. There is a white spot in front of the eye and a broad black band on the side of the head. It has a white throat and collar.


Calls / Vocalizations

The call is a series of loud, shrill, piping notes.


Diet / Feeding

The Chestnut-bellied Kingfishers mostly feed on insects (i.e., beetles), spiders and small lizards. They hunt by perching on a branch and waiting for prey to appear.


Nesting / Breeding

They breed from November to February. Most eggs are laid in December. They nest in tree cavities of palm trees or tree ferns, or will excavates a burrow in a termite mound in a tree. They dig with their large bill and clear out material with their feet. The construction of the burrow may take about fifteen days. The average clutch consists of 3 - 4 white eggs.

Species Research by Sibylle Johnson

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