Thursday, June 7, 2012

Pied Kingfisher - Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka

A Pied Kingfisher photographed in Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka
Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis) - Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka

I hadn't photographed a Pied Kingfisher until my last trip to Arugam Bay in July. I came across a pair of them hunting along a small waterway on the side of the road. They were making short flights out over the water and hovering for a while and returning to their perch on a telephone wire. Fortunately for me, they hovered for long enough for me to take a few photographs.

More inside.

A Pied Kingfisher photographed in Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka
 Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis) - Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka

Pied Kingfishers range from sub-Saharan Africa across to west Asia. The species found in Sri Lanka is considered to be a sub-species named leucomelanura. They are about 17cm in length and are white with a black mask. The males have a narrow second breast band while females have a broken breast band. The photographs above are of a male. It hunts by hovering over water to locate prey and then diving bill first to capture fish. 

A Pied Kingfisher photographed in Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka
Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis) - Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka

These photographs were taken with a Canon 7D and the 100-400mm lens. The conditions were not ideal as the clouds were a very bright background for these flight shots. I also had to push the ISO up to be able to shoot photographs of the birds in flight. I'm hoping to get some better shots in the future but they are not too bad for a first effort.




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