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Striped Kingfisher

Halcyon chelicuti


The Striped Kingfisher of the nominate subspecies H. c. chelicuti averages 16 to 18 cm[8] (about 6.5 in)[7] from beak to tail. Perched adults look mostly greyish brown on the upper part of the body. The lower back, secondary flight feathers, and tail are metallic blue; this colour is much more visible when the bird flies than when it is perched,[7][8] as is a white patch at the base of the primary flight feathers.[8] The wing linings are white with a black border, and in males a black bar at the base of the primaries.[8] The underparts are off-white, buffier on the breast, with brown streaks on the sides in Kenyan birds[7] and also on the breast in southern African birds.[8][12] Also streaked dark brown is the top of the head, with the background buffy grey in males and brownish in females. The sides of the head, throat, and a collar around the back of the neck continue the off-white of the underparts. A black line goes around the back of the neck, above the white collar, and through the eyes. The bill is blackish above and at the tip, otherwise reddish-orange below.


This is a highly territorial bird which will chase off not only others of the same species, but also shrikes, doves and rollers. The territory may be up to three hectares (7.4 acres) in size, and hold 100 tall trees. It is surveyed from a treetop by its owner, who sings from before dawn intermittently until after midday

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Jared Hersch
Spotted by
Jared Hersch

Mpumalanga, South Africa

Spotted on May 25, 2013
Submitted on Dec 25, 2013


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