Call and behaviour of the Collared Kingfisher

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

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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).

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  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!

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  3. It’s #XC42002 – described as “subtle mumbling”…
    http://www.xeno-canto.org/asia/recording.php?XC=42002

    I provided the link before I managed to capture the call myself. The subtle call recorded in my clip is clearer… 🙂

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  4. 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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