White-throated Kingfisher and the lizard

on 28th April 2006

On 2nd April 2006, Johnny Wee was at Venus Drive when he spotted a White-throated Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis) perching on a branch of a nearby tree. Apparently it was intensely eying a lizard on the ground nearby.

Johnny continued: “Its head feathers were fluffed erect and the pupils of its eyes were dilated to the maximum such that the eyes appeared white. Then suddenly the bird launched towards its prey. I was not able to see exactly what happened as my vision was blocked by the grass around. The bird then picked the dead lizard and returned to a nearby perch.

“The lizard was most possibly dead when the bird brought it back to the nearby perch. After all, its body was clearly pierced through by the bird’s beak as a result of the initial attack. The bird then flew off with the lizard between its beak.”

This kingfisher is a typical sit-and-wait predator spending long periods perched on a branch high above ground. While surveying the surrounding for prey, its head may be bobbing or its tail wagging. Once a potential prey is spotted, the bird swoops down to the ground, landing feet first, seizes the animal and return to the same perch or a nearby perch.

Text and image by Johnny Wee.

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

Other posts by YC Wee

2 Responses

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