Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher casting pellet

posted in: Kingfishers, Pellets | 7

Kennie Pan caught on video an Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher (Ceyx erithacus), also known as Black-backed Kingfisher, casting a pellet.

The kingfisher was quietly perching on a branch when it gaped widely (above left). On the third gape the mandibles remained wide for a few seconds longer before a large black and roundish pellet appeared (above right, below left). And just as suddenly, the pellet was cast.

The kingfisher remained on its perch, mandibles clamped shut and head bobbing on and off. At times it turned its head around, looked down and gaped narrowly.

Another video showed the kingfisher flapping its wings a few times before vigorously flapping them just before flying off.

A paper published on pellet casting by non-raptorial birds can be viewed HERE. Included among the birds photographed casting pellets are two kingfishers – Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) and Ruddy Kingfisher (Halcyon coromanda). With the Oriental Dwarf showcased here, we now have images of three kingfishers casting pellets.

Video grabs taken from Kennie Pan’s videos that are posted in his facebook.

7 Responses

  1. kenniepan

    hi, any explaniation how come it flaps its wings for a good few seconds before it takes off ?

  2. Dan

    Good documentation.

    Unable to explain the flapping of wings, but it could be due to:
    1. exercising for comfort
    2. balancing or stabilising itself on the precarious perch
    3. an expression of excitement

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