Monday, 7 March 2011

Silvery kingfisher

Alcedo argentata

Photo by Micky Lim (Oriental Bird Images)

Common name:
silvery kingfisher (en); guarda-rios-prateado (pt); martin-pêcheur argenté (fr); martín pescador plateado (es); silberfischer (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Coraciiformes
Family Alcedinidae

Range:
This species is endemic to The Philippines, with two distinc subspecies being found in different island. A. argentata flumenicola is found on Samar, Leyte and Bohol, while A. a. argentata is found on Dinagat, Siargao, Mindanao and Basilan.

Size:
These tiny kingfishers are 14 cm long and weigh 13-16 g.

Habitat:
The silvery kingfisher is found in forested streams, mostly in tropical and sub-tropical moist forests. They will tolerate secondary and selectively logged forest and even streamside vegetation within coconut plantations, close to forest edge, but terminalia and sago are the principal forest types used by this species.

Diet:
They hunt small fishes and crabs by diving into the water from a perch.

Breeding:
This species breeds in February-May. They nest in holes in streamside banks, where the female lays 2 white eggs. There is no available information regarding the incubation and fledging time. The chicks are naked, blind and helpless when they hatch, and stand on their heels, unlike any adult bird.

Conservation:
IUCN status - VU (Vulnerable)
With a global population estimated at just 2.500-10.000 individuals present in just a few small areas within The Philippines, this species is threatened by forest loss and the remaining tracts of lowland forest with clear streams suitable for this species are under severe pressure and as a result the silvery kingfisher is suspected to be declining rapidly.

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