Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Common kingfisher (পাতি মাছরাঙ্গা) - Alcedo atthis

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Bengali Name : Pati Machhranga (পাতি মাছরাঙ্গা).
Common Name : Common kingfisher, Eurasian kingfisher, River kingfisher.
Binomial/Scientific Name : Alcedo atthis
Family : Alcedinidae

We have several kingfisher birds in Bangladesh. Amongst those the Common Kingfisher (পাতি মাছরাঙ্গা) is the smallest one, and in my opinion the most beautiful one. In general we call all the kingfishers as Machhranga (মাছরাঙ্গা). If we want to go more bookish then this Common kingfisher can be called literally as Pati Machhranga (পাতি মাছরাঙ্গা). This small beautiful bird belongs to the family Alcedinidae. Its binomial name is Alcedo atthis. In English this bird has several names which are Eurasian kingfisher, River kingfisher, etc. Its range is vast and also frequently available in our Bangladesh.

Common kingfisher (পাতি মাছরাঙ্গা) is a very shy bird but an excellent hunter of fishes from the river, pond, canal or any other wetlands. This lovely colorful bird is having a very bright blue upper part (wings, back, etc) which is also having spotted with whites. The under part is orange, chestnut-red in color. At the throat it has slightly white color. Behind the eye it has orange color and after that it is white (at color after neck).

The beak of the bird is much larger compare to the whole body (similar to other kingfishers). The tail is very short (sometimes hard to notice). Both the male and the female kingfishers are similar in shape and color. But the male is having a complete black beak whereas the female is having a red color near the base of the beak. This bird is having a fine pair of orange colored small leg.

A female Common kingfisher that is having a red/orange base at the beak.

Common kingfisher (পাতি মাছরাঙ্গা) is a very rapid flyer. It mainly flies very lower over the water with an extreme speed. I have seen once this bird hovering on air for a short period of a time. To justify the name kingfisher, this bird is also an expert fish catcher. With it's sharp eyes it can detect the movement of the fishes under water and can hunt those with its rapid speed. Its main diet is the fish.

This small kingfisher maintain its territory. Even the male and female are living in a separate territory. Their territories only merges during the breeding seasons only. They make nest on the vertical bank of a river, pond, or a canal. Both birds help to excavate the hole on the mud for the nest.

A female Common kingfisher that is having a red/orange base at the beak.

A female Common kingfisher that is having a red/orange base at the beak.

Photos of this article were taken from Bangladesh during 2014:
1) 28 November 2014: Jahangirnogor University, Savar (জাহাঙ্গীরনগর ইউনিভার্সিটি, সাভার).
2) 05 December 2014: Baikka Beel, Srimongol (বাইক্কা বিল, শ্রীমঙ্গল).
3) 20 December 2014: Shonar chor, Patuakhali (সোনার চর, পটুয়াখালী).

This article has written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog http://icwow.blogspot.com/

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