White Breasted Kingfisher ( Halcyon Smyrnensis)
This is one of the birds that can never
fail to catch your attention. A brilliant turquoise blue with deep
chocolate-brown head, neck and under parts, a long bright red kingfisher-like
bill and white front catches immediate attention. Its size of a
pigeon but appears much smaller due to the way it sits. Both the sexes
are alike and pairs can be seen near ponds, jheels, dense jungles etc.
In fact the bird can be seen both near and away from water bodies.
The bird is found in plains and lower hills all over India, Pakistan,
Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Bangladesh. Four races have been identified
according to colour and size differentiation. It is very fond of fish,
tadpoles, grasshoppers, lizards and insects. Like pied kingfisher,
white breasted kingfisher also observes its prey from the superior
position and the moment its within reach, a flash of lightening it
Like his cousin, the white breasted kingfisher enjoys his food again
at a perched place. The nesting season is from March to July. The nest
is a horizontal tunnel like structure dug in a precipitous mud-bank of
the stream, where four to seven white spherical eggs are laid.