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Call and behaviour of the Collared Kingfisher

on 26th March 2011

On 11th March 2011, Lena Chow wrote:

“I have a pair of resident Collared Kingfishers (Todiramphus chloris) at my place (above left). I have done nothing to attract them, aside from being situate across from a field where I have seen them dive into the grass for food (can’t quite see exactly what they caught). I see them almost everyday for quite a few months now, and have been observing them. I am curious about two things:

1. Why they adopt an ‘angel’ pose at times when perched (instead of wings folded back like most perched passerines). This is not an uncommon sight, especially when they are together as a pair.

2. Why they make a subtle call (unlike their usual loud cackling laughter) – usually the first few seconds when they land on the tree or lamppost opposite my house (above right). I’ve been trying to record this subtle call for ages, but here’s something close I found on xeno-canto.

The next day she succeeded in recording two calls and sent in the video below and a report:

I managed to get a sample of two calls this morning – neither of which is the ‘usual’ repeated double-note noisy cackling. The ‘subtle’ one I mentioned below is heard from the second bird as it flew in and landed, it is also heard in the background at the beginning of the video. I think both of these are comfort calls as the birds are perched on their favourite lamppost.

“The second bird was also adopting the ‘angel’ pose I was referring to below, with wings held folded in an open position.”

Lena Chow
Singapore
March 2011

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

4 Responses

  1. I wondered if you might clarify which of the Xeno-canto recordings sounded like yours (slow internet makes listening to them all difficult).

  2. I wondered if you might clarify which of the Xeno-canto recordings sounded like yours (slow internet makes listening to them all difficult). Nice video by the way!

  3. Thanks Lena! Yours is more obvious, but I was glad to hear it somewhere else too, just to hear the similarity. Very interesting observation! I’ve heard bits and pieces about “subsong” and wonder if this is an example of that.

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