Collared Kingfisher: Food for the chick

on 26th July 2009

YY Chong documented the variety of animal foods the adult Collared Kingfishers (Todiramphus chloris) delivered to the nest to feed the growing chicks hours before they fledged. At that age, the chicks needed lots of protein, thus mostly animal foods were delivered.

These include grasshopper, frog, earthworm, centipede, spider and ?lizard/skink. Can you identify the different foods in the image above put together by YY?

This post is a cooperative effort between and BESG to bring the study of bird behaviour through photography to a wider audience

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

5 Responses

  1. I live in Glenfield, Auckland New Zelanad. I have a number of Kingfisher living in the bush at the rear of my section.

    Thet seem to dive for and eat worms from the section.

    Is there anything I can put out for them to eat and are there any particular type of tree/shrub etc that attracts them to here?


  2. I live in Glenfield, Auckland New Zeland.

    I have a number of Kingfishers who frequent the bush at the rear of my section.

    Is there any food I can put out for them or do they simply dive for the worms/spiders etc that I see them do.

    Is there any plant/tree etc that attracts them to the section.


  3. Dear Noel,

    I am stating the obvious, but fish attract kingfishers. As an aquarist, I have suffered through many kingfisher attacks. I breed Sunset platies, (Poecilia variatus), which are not particularly valuable, but I just happen to like them. Most other aquarists find them too much trouble.

    They breed readily, but only the alpha males display the gorgeous sunset colours (brilliant yellow fronts shading to bright orange tails) that give them their name. And the alpha males only develop these colours when they get to the top of the hierarchy, which would be when they are about 18 months old, three quarters of the way through their two-year lifespans. Subordinate males remain a sort of greyish brown.

    Brilliant yellow fish are the easiest targets.

    I kept losing the best males out of my pond to the kingfishers. Here in Singapore, the chief culprit was the white-chested kingfisher, though the collared kingfisher was sometimes guilty.

    So I took to raising platies in aquaria lined up along the side of my house. That made the job easier for the kingfishers. Finally, I had to cover all the aquaria.

    I am in the process of moving, and have already set up a few fish ponds at my new address. To test the waters (and to prevent myself from being fined for allowing mosquitoes to breed in my premises) I have put my excess platies in the new ponds.

    This was done barely a month ago. The kingfishers are already helping themselves at this new buffet line.

    To get a kingfisher party going with a self-propagating colony of small fish, all you need is a wide container holding at least 100 gallons of water. If you do not have ready access to platies in New Zealand, any easily available small fish will do, provided that they swim on the surface.

    If mosquito fish (Gambusia) have already invaded your country, these would be ideal. If not, please keep this species out of your ecosystem.

    To maintain a self-generating colony of common goldfish, you would probably need a larger body of water, say about 500 gallons, with water plants.

    So far, the kingfishers have not yet been so efficient as to be able to wipe out entire fish colonies. So once the set-up is established, you would see kingfishers for a long time to come. Remember to feed the fish.

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