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Collared kingfishers have a turquoise head and wings with a broad, white collar bordered by a narrow, black line. They have white chest feathers, black feet and bill. Males tend to have a slightly more blue tinge, while females tend to have a slightly more green tinge. Juvenile birds are duller in color with a broader black collar band and tiny black scallops across their breast.
24 cm (9.6 in)
Fish, crabs and prawns, lizards, small snakes, insects, tadpoles, and earthworms
10 years in managed conditions
Open grasslands, shallow water, mudflats, and beaches
Abundant - the most common kingfisher in Singapore
These birds perform courtship flights and the male may offer the female small tokens. Both parents make the nest, digging out a hole in dead trees or palms and sometimes take over woodpecker holes, or even burrowing into the active nests of ants and termites. The female begins incubating the clutch, and then the male takes over incubation later.
Kingfishers are perch-and-wait hunters, sitting on a branch, post, fence, mound or wire above the ground and waiting for their prey. When larger prey is caught, they pound it against the perch. They also hammer shells against stones to get at the mollusk or hermit crab inside. Sometimes, they will take prey from other birds.
Collared kingfishers are reportedly aggressive towards their own kind as well as other kingfisher species.
Kingfishers' trademark blue coloring is not an actual pigment on the feathers. Rather there are layers within the feathers that reflect only blue wavelengths of light. So, as kingfishers fly, their color may change from blue to green.
Kingfishers use a variety of laughing calls from a quiet chuckle to a harsh, loud "kek-kek, kek-kek" to communicate.
ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION
The collared kingfisher is not considered at risk in Singapore. In the past, they were mostly found along the coasts and mangroves, but they have moved inland to hunt along freshwater wetlands, cultivated lands, gardens and parks.
Bucknill, J. and Chasen, E.
Birds of Singapore and Southeast Asia
. Tynron Press, 1990.
Sen, Yong Hoi (ed.),
Singapore: Kingfishers and Woodpeckers
. Didier Millet, 1998.
Seng, Lim Kim and Gardner, Dana.
Birds: An Illustrated Field Guide to the Birds of Singapore
. Sun Tree Publishing Ltd., 1997.
Tropical Birds of Malaysia and Singapore
. Periplus Editions, 2000.