This little bird is lucky to be alive - it collided with a glass door. At first I thought it was a young Butcherbird, but upon closer inspection I could see it was something totally different. This happens to be my first encounter with a Sacred Kingfisher. A medium-sized kingfisher, it has a turquoise back, turquoise blue rump and tail, buff-white underparts, a broad cream collar, and a broad black eye stripe that extends from the beak to the nape of the neck. Both sexes are similar, although the female is generally lighter with duller upper parts. Juvenile birds are similar to the female, but have varying amounts of rusty-brown edging to feathers on the collar and underparts, and buff edges on the wing coverts. This spotting is definitely a young bird.
Spotted at the Metroplex on Gateway estate, Murarrie, Brisbane. The Metroplex wetlands are only a stone's throw from this location, and I think that's the area this species would frequent. Natural habitat includes woodlands, mangroves and paperbark forests, tall open eucalypt forests, and melaleuca forests (which are usually near wetlands, and there are plenty of melaleuca's at Metroplex). Apparently these birds are common in suburban areas (could have fooled me), but won't be found in rainforests or treeless areas.
Even though this little guy was stunned, he still had some strength in him. As I picked him up, he clamped onto my finger, arched his back, and extended his wings, although there was no struggling. I had no choice but to move him as he was on a busy walkway. The weather was filthy with high winds and heavy rainfall, so I found a nice dry area in the garden so he could recover at his own pace. My workmates were also very concerned and promised to keep an eye on him, and call the local vet if need be. PS: He could also be a she, but even though it's a young bird with the rusty-brown edging, its turquoise feathers were anything but dull which makes me think this spotting is male. Only time will tell. PPS: Monday 04 May - Found out today this little one made a full recovery and flew off shortly after I left on Friday. Phewww!
Spotted on May 1, 2015
Submitted on May 1, 2015
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