Mating of a pair of Collared Kingfishers

on 29th November 2013

“Wildlife is finally returning to Singapore’s Holland Village about 2 years after the end of the construction of the Mass Rapid Transit lines and I was delighted when this pair of Collared Kingfishers (Todiramphus chloris) moved in 2-3 months ago along with other birds commonly found in Singapore.

“They have accidentally flew into my house twice since they’ve moved in. I don’t think they are very well adapted to urban settings (like mynahs and starlings). I’d be grateful if you could include a shoutout on how to handle birds that have flown into homes.

(Birds ‘trapped’ inside homes should be carefully guided towards the door or window. Should it be cornered and unable to fly away, place both hands firmly on the body and bring it outside. Do not loosen your hold on the bird gradually but release it all at once. And do not catch hold of its tail feathers as certain species may indulge in fight moult, losing its feathers to gain freedom – see HERE and HERE.)

“I’ve recently captured a sequence of pictures of a pair of Collared Kingfishers mating just outside my window – from the start where the female signals she is ready, by lowering her head (above and below), all the way to when the male flies off.

“The pair mated for 3 times in the 10 minutes I was observing them (above and below). The female stayed at the same place after every attempt while the male would fly off to a nearby branch.

“The pairing was quick (below)… [Mating is concluded once the ‘cloacal kiss’ is achieved, as when the male’s cloaca makes contact with the female’s LINK 1 and LINK 2.]

“…and the male would fly off to another branch nearby (below).”

Jasper Lim
25th November 2013

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

3 Responses

  1. Good documentation. If you are to look closely at the breast of the female, it is still a juvenile as seen by its scaly breast.

  2. Dear Kwong,
    Thank you for sharing! I didn’t know that

    Dear Sun Chong Hong,

    Thanks for the link! Unfortunately, I have not noticed such behavior. I hardly see the female around, and it is even rarer to see the pair together. However, I know at the very least that there are two of them around (based on their calls).

    I’ll keep an eye out for this.

    Prior to and in between mating attempts, the male would be on a different branch, only coming close when the female signals.

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