The white-throated kingfisher, Halcyon smyrnensis, is sometimes spotted flitting in and out of trees surrounding the MCKL field. After several laughable attempts to photograph it, which include my camera running out of battery after finally getting it in focus (twice!), the stars have finally aligned recently. Ironically enough, since getting the photographs, I can see it almost every day now. Maybe now it is just a matter of knowing where to look?
Despite its name, H. smyrnensis does have other nourishment other than fish, which includes earthworms, centipedes and other terrestrial invertebrates. After making a catch, it bashes the poor prey a few times to immobilize it before gulping it down.
Fig. 1-4 shows H. smyrnensis perched on MCKL’s bird hot spot, the goal post in the field. It was spotting for worms on the field.
Fig. 5-6 shows H. smyrnensis on a higher, natural perch (the raintree) where it was observed to engage in its prey-bashing maneuver.
Fig. 7-10 shows H. smyrnensis atGamuda Gardens, northern Klang Valley. It seemed to enjoy the view before being chased away by the recent arrival, the brown shrike!
All photos taken with Nikon P530 by Ng Di Lin.
25 September 2022.
Ng Di Lin
Lecturer, American Degree Transfer Program
Methodist College Kuala Lumpur
Off Jalan Tun Sambanthan 4, Brickfields, 50470 Kuala Lumpur.
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