Scientific Name: Halycon smyrnensis
Family : Coraciiformes
Tamil Nmae : Meen Kothi
Description: A brilliant blue kingfisher with chocolate brown head, neck and underparts, a conscious white front and long heavy pointed bill. A white wing patch prominent in flight is present.
Distribution and status: It is distributed in plains and lower hills throughout the subcontinent. Common in its distribution.
Habitat: It occurs singly in cultivated and wooded country both near and away from water. This is the most familiar of our kingfishers and also the least dependent on water.
Habits : It is seen at ponds, puddles, rainfed ditches, inundated paddy fields, near the seashore and also in light forest at considerable distance from water.
Food: At a favorite vantage point in a telegraph wire or post, it pounces down on any creeping prey and flies of with it to another nearby perch where the victim is battered to death and swallowed. Fish, tadpole, lizard and other insects are its food. Occasionally young birds are taken.
Life cycle : Nesting season is between March and July. Nest is typical of kingfishers in a horizontal tunnel dug in to the side of a dry nullah or lake bund .Eggs are 4-5 white spherical in number. Both sexes incubate and feed the young.
Role in the envoironment : Plays a major role as keeping a check on the rodent population.
Photo source : Dr. J. Patrick David