Common Kingfisher handling fish

on 6th November 2008

KC Tsang was among those who were at Jurong in late October 2008 to greet the Common Kingfisher (Todiramphus chloris), an uncommon winter visitor to Singapore.

“It was late this morning at the Japanese Gardens, that I had the opportunity of witnessing the violent way that a Common Kingfisher dispatched with it’s catch.

“The bird was at it’s usual post, these birds have a habit of going back to it’s favorite perch. Suddenly in a split second the bird disappeared, and as quickly it appeared with a fish clamped between it’s bill, as one can see it is not securely held, and only by its tail (above).

“The fish being very much alive, was trying its best to escape from being eaten by flipping itself up and down while being held by the bill of the bird.

“The bird on realising the situation. went about trashing the fish on to the branch that it was perching on (above). This went on for a number of times. One of my pictures shows that the kingfisher is able to turn its head 180 degrees up before bringing the fish down with a smashing blow (above right).

“After deciding that the fish had enough of trashing, the kingfisher flipped it around and swallowed it head first (left).”

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

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