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Monday, September 26, 2016

Kingfisher

Photo Credit: Dreams of Animals
Kingfishers are a group of small to medium-sized, brightly colored birds. All kingfishers have large heads, long, sharp, pointed bills, short legs, and stubby tails. Most species have bright plumage with few differences between the sexes. Most species are tropical in distribution, and a slight majority are found only in forests.

They consume a wide range of prey, as well as fish, usually caught by swooping down from a perch. While kingfishers are usually thought to live near rivers and eat fish, most species live away from water and eat small invertebrates. Like other members of their order, they nest in cavities, usually tunnels dug into the natural or artificial banks in the ground. A quarter of all kingfishers nest in disused termite nests. A few species, principally insular forms, are threatened with extinction. In Britain, the word "kingfisher" normally refers to the common kingfisher.

Kingfishers feed on a wide variety of prey. They are most famous for hunting and eating fish, and some species do specialize in catching fish, but other species take crustaceans, frogs and other amphibians, annelid worms, mollusks, insects, spiders, centipedes, reptiles (including snakes), and even birds and mammals. Individual species may specialize in a few items or take a wide variety of prey, and for species with large global distributions, different populations may have different diets.

Did you know?
Kingfishers are territorial, some species defending their territories vigorously. They are generally monogamous, although cooperative breeding has been observed in some species and is quite common in others, for example the laughing kookaburra, where helpers aid the dominant breeding pair in raising the young.

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