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Black Capped Kingfisher or Halcyon pileata

Kerala, the small state in the south western tip of India is home to over 500 types of birds. There are 16 varieties, which are endemic to the Western Ghats, and all these can be seen in the forests of the state.

The Black Capped Kingfisher (Halcyon pileata) is a very pretty bird found near water bodies. It belongs to the tree kingfisher group.

The bird is a large one in the kingfisher family. It is about 28 centimetres in length. Both the adult female and male have a purple blue black and white neck collar and throat. Bill and legs are bright red.

The flight of the bird is rapid and direct. It feeds mainly on insects, fish and frogs.

They are distributed in large numbers in the mangrove areas. In Kollam, Asramom mangrove area hosts a large number of Black Capped Kingfishers.