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Kingfishers: Brown-hooded Kingfisher

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa

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Kingfishers: Brown-hooded Kingfisher

Unread postby cybeR@NGER » Tue Sep 26, 2006 9:38 pm

Brown-hooded Kingfisher (Halcyon albiventris)

Other names
Afrikaans: Bruinkopvisvanger
Dutch: bruinkapijsvogel
German: Braunkopfliest
French: Martin-chasseur à tête brune
Portuguese: Pica-peixe-de-barrete-castanho

Scientific Classification
Order: Coraciiformes
Family: Dacelonidae
Genus: Halcyon

This is a small kingfisher, approximately the same size as the Woodland Kingfisher and Mangrove Kingfisher (22-24cm), but less striking than other kingfishers. Has a dull red bill and legs, dark brown-streaked head, white throat, lower back and rump bright blue, buff and white underparts and a black mantle.
Its loud descending KIK-KIK-KIK-kik-kik call often betrays its presence well before it is seen.

Distribution: Found in the eastern parts of Southern Africa, with small populations in Namibia and Okavang Delta. Absent from arid interior and most of highveld.

Habitat: Usually associated with water and cover. Dense woodland, riverine woodland and thicket, bush, scrub, edges of evergreen forest and plantations, wooded grassland, degraded areas with some remaining trees, edges of subsistence cultivation, large gardens and parks in built up areas. Absent from Kalahari sand formations.

General Habits: Solitary or in pairs. After breeding, family roosts together for a few weeks. Spends much time perched quietly on branch or wire, exposed or in shade, always alert for prey. Bathes by making numerous dives into water, from low perch, shaking off after each dip. Sunbathes by lying sideways on branch, with wings and tail spread, head turned sideways, mantle feathers fluffed and raised. Pair roosts at night in self-excavated tunnel in earth bank.

Foraging & Food: Flies down fast to seize prey from ground, tree trunk or water, briefly alighting or, more commonly, seizing item without alighting, and returning to perch. Diet includes locusts, grasshoppers, crickets, mantids, cockroaches, beetles, caterpillars, scorpions, tadpoles, millipedes, amphibians, geckos, chameleons, skinks and other lizards up to 60% its own length and snakes up to 230mm. Also eats fish (50mm) including goldfish, crabs and small rodents. Eats young birds and adult passerines, including cisticolas, prinias, waxbills and Southern Double-collared Subird. Large items are battered against tree trunk, then swallowed head first; always carried to young head forward in bill. Rarely seen fishing, sometimes without success, but can be proficient.

Breeding: Monogamous, solitary nester and territorial. Aggressive in defense of territory, chasing rollers, small tree snakes and some lizards. Male sings while perched upright, wings held slightly out, down and vibrating. Wing-vibrating display also performed by pair facing each other, each head held high, singing continuously, periodically spreading wings wide in vertical plane, with tail fanned and occasionally raised, at the same time pivoting and bobbing. Nest: Excavated by both sexes. Straight or bending, roughly horizontal tunnel in stream bank or erosion gully, clear or overhung with woody growth. Laying dates: Sept-Dec and as late as Apr in KwaZulu-Natal.

Status: Common resident.

Conservation: Not threatened. Widespread, common and adaptable. In recent years, range has expanded in W. Cape and into southern Karoo, probably due to spread of trees in parks and gardens.

Source: Roberts VII
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Brown-hooded Kingfisher

Unread postby DinkyBird » Sun Oct 29, 2006 9:46 pm

Photographed at Sweni birdhide - Sept 2006
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Last edited by DinkyBird on Sun Oct 29, 2006 9:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby richardharris » Sun Mar 04, 2007 7:20 pm

Image

Paul - the brown and grey can be difficult to tell apart. You think you have cracked it till the next one when confusion sets in again! If you can get a good view - the brownhooded has a black tip to its beak. DB's first shot shows this clearly.

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Unread postby gwendolen » Sun Mar 04, 2007 7:35 pm

Berg en Dal
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Unread postby Freda » Sun Mar 04, 2007 7:59 pm

On the S39, 9th Feb, brown :? ?
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Unread postby katydownunder » Mon Mar 12, 2007 10:39 pm

We saw this one close to Satara Rest Camp:

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Unread postby richardharris » Mon Oct 29, 2007 9:41 am

a juvenile brownhooded

normal size

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2 at a larger size if you have a faster connection

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Kingfisher: Brown-hooded

Unread postby Hasco » Mon Mar 31, 2008 11:57 am

The next kingfisher came flying into my camera's lens as I was trying to photograph a really amazing Leopard (LIT) between Nsemani and the S36 in Kruger.
It must be either a brownhooded or woodland but I get confused because the colours and drawings do no really match those in my birdbook. I am sorry that the pictures are of poor quality, but distance makes it not always easy to make a decent picture.

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Thank you for your time and expertise!

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Unread postby wildtuinman » Mon Mar 31, 2008 12:12 pm

Brown-hooded kingfisher

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Kingfishers: Brown-hooded Kingfisher

Unread postby Bahamut » Thu Aug 07, 2008 12:44 pm

Please id these two for me.

2.Image

Whats the diff between Brown-hooded and striped i.r.o the above. Cant seem to decide if these two are the same or not.
Roberts is confusing me text and pics, but I think I'm missing something obvious.

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Unread postby JoelR » Thu Aug 07, 2008 1:09 pm

Hi Bahamut! Confusing indeed. The first pic is a Brown-hooded Kingfisher. The light rufous on the sides of the breast is diagnostic and the lack of streaking and non-white neck confirm this. The second pic is a Striped Kingfisher, whereby the white collar is diagnostic but the streaks are also a good giveaway. In the field you will notice that the Striped Kingfisher is considerably smaller and even on the pics the Brown-hooded looks stockier.

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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby Yolandé Oelsen » Wed Oct 08, 2008 11:01 pm

Please help me ID this kingfisher. It was seen at Walter Sisulu today on by the river. First time every I saw one there.
The head is grey -> Grey hooded or striped or mangrove
Bill is red with black tip --> Mangrove
chest doesn't seem striped to me :?
Is it at all suppose to be in this area?
:huh:
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Image
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby Rusty Justy » Wed Oct 08, 2008 11:34 pm

Hi Yolande,

It's a Brown-Hooded Kingfisher :D
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby Yolandé Oelsen » Wed Oct 08, 2008 11:40 pm

Really? And the black tip on the red beak then?
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby Rusty Justy » Wed Oct 08, 2008 11:55 pm

Most feild guides just show it as a all red bill, making I.D compared to the striped easier...Brown-Hooded however does very often, if more times then not..have a dark tip to the bill.

Mangrove Kingfisher---Also hs this bill colouration, but has a grey, not brown head, nape and neck. A blue back and a grey breast..Distribution and Habitat preferences are critical for this species. And it's also more of a winterly seen bird! (Aquatic)

Woodland Kingfisher---Summer Visitor...Has a red upper bill, and black lower bill(Rarely and all red bill)...It's back, head, cheeks etc are blue, and is completely white below...not greyish as in Mangrove..(Non-Aqautic)

Grey-Hooded-----All red bill, grey head, nape and upper back, with the chestnut belly is diagnostic.(Non-Aquatic)

Striped Kingfisher------Has a dark upper bill, and red lower bill, a white collar and striped breast which is diagnostic (non-Aquatic)

Brown-Hooded Kingfisher-----Has a brown head, streaked dark, it has rufous patches to the sides of the head & breast(not always to prominant) and well streaked flanks...It has an all red bill(minus the dark tip) (non-aqautic)


Distribution & Plumage All go Brown-Hooded's way :thumbs_up:
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