Ruddy Kingfisher, Sundarbans

by Soumyajit Nandy
Soumyajit Nandy

Chosen as 'Picture of the Week'

An uncommon kingfisher in the subcontinent that is found in the Eastern Himalaya, NE India and Bangladesh, from tropical and subtropical evergreen forests as well as mangroves. In the Indian Sundarbans, where this was photographed, it is the most elusive of the eight recorded Kingfishers.

The Ruddy Kingfisher (Halcyon coromanda) is a poorly understood kingfisher species. An uncommon kingfisher in the subcontinent, it is found in the Eastern Himalaya, NE India and Bangladesh, from tropical and subtropical evergreen forests as well as mangroves. It was earlier concluded that this medium-sized, rufous-orange tree kingfisher, with bright red bill and legs, is a passage migrant to the mangrove forests of Sundarbans in West Bengal, and can be seen for only for a week’s time at the most. However, since 2014, thanks to the surge of birders and photographers from Kolkata, it has been noted that this species makes Sundarbans its home from late-May till end-August. But it is still the most elusive of the eight Kingfishers of the Indian Sunderbans.

Ruddy Kingfishers prefer the tall trees in the mangroves. The species has been seen often on Avicennia alba locally known as Baine. Like many other birds they are mostly active during the early mornings and late evenings, except on cloudy days, when they are active throughout.

Reference: Birds of the Indian Subcontinent: India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and the Maldives by Carol Inskipp, Richard Grimmett, and Tim Inskipp.

About the author

Soumyajit Nandy

Kolkata-based Soumyajit Nandy is an architect by qualification and a wildlife photographer by profession.



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