Sunday, 19 June 2011

Amazon kingfisher

Chloroceryle amazona

Photo by Lip Kee (Flickr)

Common name:

Order Coraciiformes
Family Alcedinidae

This species is found in South America, east of the Andes, from central Argentina to Venezuela, and then north into Central America up to northern Mexico.

The Amazon kingfisher is 29-31 cm long. Males weigh 100-120 g while females tend to be larger, weighing 125-140 g.

They are found in inland water bodies, along wooded lakeshores and large-slow flowing rivers. Usually found in the lowlands, this species may be found at altitudes of up to 2.500 m in some parts of their range.

Amazon kingsfishers mostly eat fish, but also crustaceans, amphibians and aquatic insect larvae. They perch low above the water and dives head first to catch their prey.

These birds nest in a hole, excavated in a river bank, eroded ravine, or road embankments, generally located near water. There the female lays 3-4 eggs which are incubated for 22 days. Usually the female incubates during the night and the male incubates during the day. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 29-30 days after hatching.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
The Amazon kingfisher has an extremely large breeding range and a global population of 500.000-5.000.000 individuals. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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