Myron Tay documented the nesting of a pair of Banded Kingfisher (Lacedo pulchella) at Khao Yai, Thailand in April 2009. The birds were nesting in a cavity made in a termite mound that developed from a rotting tree trunk. The image above, left, shows the female by the nest while that on the right shows the female with a lizard.
In the images below, the male was delivering a cicada to the chick/s (left) while the female on the right brought a praying mantis.
The Banded Kingfisher is widespread in the Malay Peninsula and Tenasserim in Burma. It is not found in Singapore. According to Fry & Fry (1992), very few nests have been located, mostly in holes of rotting tree trunks up to 3m above ground. There had been two reports of the kingfisher’s nest found in the globular nest of tree termites.
Fry, C.H. & K. Fry, 1992. Kingfishers, bee-eaters and rollers. New Jersey, Princeton University Press. 324 pp.
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Such lovely pictures! I suppose this would have been an abandoned termite mound?!
Just last month, I learnt that kingfishers ate more than fish! One of the members of our naturalist society caught on camera a KF catching a baby olive keelback!
Too high for the photographer to check, I suppose. I think it is not necessary for the mound to be abandoned before the birds nest in it. They just need a cavity in the mound, external to the nest proper.
Just read this. On the question on the condition of the termite mound, I did not check whether it was abandoned by the termites or not, so I am unable to verify one way or another.
I also wish to state that I was by no means the first to discover the nest. In fact, I was informed about the presence of the nest by our guide and was told that the nest has been photographed by many Thai photographers (including several who joined me during the time I observed the nest at different times over two days).
No doubt many saw and photographed the nest. While most of these images remain buried in hard disks, the exciting encounters become faded memories with time. Unless shared, knowledge has but limited use. Thanks for sharing, Myron.
K C Tsang
I have read that the Rufous Woodpecker also excavate a hole in occupied nests of tree ants during the nesting period. It does not say the type of ants, so could be termite mounds too…
Wonder how they survive the attacks of the angry ants ???
It is my pleasure, YC.
Just thought some might be interested, during the time that I observed the nest (over 2 hours at most at a stretch), I tried to be inconspicious as possible (using camouflage). Nevertheless, the parents were still aware of our (the photographers) presence and I was extremely blessed to be able to get the shot of the female at the nest the few precious seconds between feeding the chick with the lizard in the shot and flying off.