Pets and Animals
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Stork-billed Kingfisher or Halcyon Capensis

In the matter of bird diversity, India is second to none. Of the total 9700 species worldwide, India has about 1300. Of these 142 are endemic to our country. Kerala, one of the smallest of the Indian states, has about 500 species of which 16 are endemic to Western Ghats. All these 16 endemics can be seen in the forests of kerala. Also in the matter of colour and beauty some of our birds are the most exquisite found anywhere.

What we see in this video is a Stork-billed Kingfisher, which is the largest of Kingfishers in Kerala. The scientific name given to this species is Halcyon Capensis. It has been classified as a member of Halcyonidae family of Tree Kingfishers under the Coraciiformes order of the class Aves.

It eats fishes, frogs, crabs and also small reptiles. We can find it most of the time sitting motionless on some branch near any of the waterbodies looking for preys in the water.

It usually builds its nest by digging river banks or in termite mounds or decaying trees. An adult Stork-billed Kingfisher has a green back, blue wings and tail, and grey head. Its underparts and neck are buff. Its bill is bright red in colour. The bird is usually of 18 to 20 centimetres in length. Its legs too are bright red coloured.

Stork-billed Kingfishers are distributed widely but not densely in tropical south Asian countries including Asia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and Singapore.