Wednesday, March 8

Ruddy kingfisher

   ›      ›   Ruddy kingfisher - Halcyon coromanda

The ruddy kingfisher (Halcyon coromanda) is a medium-sized tree kingfisher belonging to the family Alcedinidae.

These kingfisher species are distributed in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, China, Japan, North Korea, South korea, Taiwan and several Southeast Asian countries. The ruddy kingfisher species are partially migrant birds with medium forest dependency. There are ten recognized subspecies of these kingfishers.

Overview & Quick Facts Description & Identification
Pictures of Ruddy Kingfisher Distribution & Range
Ecosystem & Habitat Diet & Feeding Behavior
Breeding Habits Migration & Movement Patterns
Conservation & Survival IUCN Status
Taxonomy & Classification Bird World

Ruddy kingfisher - Overview

  • Scientific name: Halcyon coromanda
  • Species author: (Latham, 1790)
  • Synonyms/Protonym: Alcedo coromanda Latham, 1790
  • Family: Alcedinidae › Coraciiformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Vernacular names: English: Ruddy kingfisher, Chinese: 赤翡翠, French: Martin-chasseur violet German: Feuerliest Spanish: Alción rojizo, Russian: Пламенная альциона, Japanese: アカショウビン, Malay: Burung Pekaka Belacan
  • Other names: Ruddy Kingfisher
  • Distribution: India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, China, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Brunei, Japan, North Korea, South korea, Taiwan
  • Diet and feeding habits: fish, crustaceans, amphibians, large insects
  • IUCN status listing: Least Concern (LC)
The ten recognized subspecies of ruddy kingfisher (Halcyon coromanda) are: Halcyon coromanda coromanda, H. c. sulana, H. c. major, H. c. pelingensis, H. c. bangsi, H. c. rufa, H. c. mizorhina, H. c. claudiae, H. c. minor and H. c. linae.

Appearance, physical description and identification

The ruddy kingfisher (Halcyon coromanda) is a medium-sized kingfisher, measuring about 25 cm in length and weighing 60 to 90 grams.

The overall plumage of these kingfisher species is rusty red, the underparts being paler. There is slight variation in color and its intensity among the subspecies. The large bill and the feet are red or reddish orange in color. The irises are black. Their call is a loud shrill “quirrr-r-r-r-r” sound.
Indian birds - Image of Ruddy kingfisher - Halcyon coromanda
Birds of India - Picture of Ruddy kingfisher - Halcyon coromanda
Birds of India - Picture of Ruddy kingfisher - Halcyon coromanda
Indian birds - Image of Ruddy kingfisher - Halcyon coromanda
Indian birds - Image of Ruddy kingfisher - Halcyon coromanda
Birds of India - Picture of Ruddy kingfisher - Halcyon coromanda
Birds of India - Picture of Ruddy kingfisher - Halcyon coromanda
Indian birds - Image of Ruddy kingfisher - Halcyon coromanda

Origin, geographical range and distribution

These ruddy kingfisher species are distributed in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, China, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Brunei, Japan, North Korea, South korea and Taiwan. Vagrant populations recorded in Russia and Cambodia.

The nominate ruddy kingfisher subspecies H. c. coromanda is distributed in India (West Bengal), Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, north Myanmar, south-central China (Yunnan), South Thailand and north-east Vietnam. The northern populations winter in Malay Peninsula and Indonesia (Sumatra and Java).

The ruddy kingfishers subspecies H. c. major is distributed in northeast China, North Korea, South Korea and Japan. These subspecies winter in Philippines, Borneo Island and Talaud Island (Indonesia). The subspecies H. c. mizorhina is distributed in Andaman Islands (India).

The kingfisher subspecies H. c. bangsi is distributed in Ryukyu Islands (Japan). They migrate to Philippines and Talaud Islands (Indonesia). The subspecies H. c. linae is distributed in Philippines (Palawan Archipelago).

The ruddy kingfisher subspecies H. c. minor is distributed in south Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Borneo Island and Indonesia (Riau Islands, BangkaIsland, Belitung Island and Java Island). The subspecies H. c. claudiae is distributed in Philippines (Sulu Archipelago).

The subspecies H. c. rufa is distributed in Indonesia (Talaud Island and Sangihe Island and Sulawesi Island). The subspecies H. c. pelingensis is distributed in Indonesia (Banggai Archipelago). The subspecies H. c. sulana is distributed Sula Island (Indonesia).

Ecosystem and habitat

These ruddy kingfisher species have moderate forest dependence. These species occur in altitudes from 0 to 1800 meters. These species inhabit artificial ecosystems like urban areas, agricultural fields, plantations and rural gardens.

The natural ecosystem of these ruddy kingfisher species includes subtropical and tropical mangrove vegetation, subtropical and tropical dry forests, temperate forests, rivers, streams, creeks and dense evergreen forests.

Diet and feeding behavior

The diet of these ruddy kingfisher species is mostly fish. Crabs, amphibians, Fish and large insects are their primary food. They are known to feed on insects like, crickets, dragonflies, locust, cicada, grasshoppers, beetles and moths.

They dive and catch the prey with their beak. They batter the prey on the perch before swallowing it. They actively feed in the early mornings and evenings in hot climate. If the weather is cool, they can be seen actively feeding throughout the day.

Reproduction and breeding habits

The breeding season of these ruddy kingfisher species is from March to May in India and Nepal. The breeding season is during May in Malay Peninsula. In South Korea, the laying season is in June.

They dig nesting tunnel into tree holes, termite nests and sand banks. They are monogamous species. Both the pair take part in nest digging and incubating. Both the parents take care of the chicks.

Migration and movement patterns

The ruddy kingfisher is a partially migrant bird.

The northern ruddy kingfisher populations in China, Japan, North Korea, South Korea and north India (subspecies H. c. coromanda, H. c. major and H. c. bangsi) winter in Malay Peninsula, Indonesia and Philippines. The southern subspecies are resident birds.

Post breeding, the juveniles of resident kingfishers may disperse and establish in new locations within the range. They may make local movements for feeding and breeding within their range.

Conservation and survival

The global population size of the ruddy kingfisher (Halcyon coromanda) has not been quantified. The overall population trend of these kingfisher species is considered to be under decline. Throughout its range it is reported to be widespread but generally rare and uncommon. The generation length is 3.8 years. Their distribution size is about 22,100,000 sq.km.

The ruddy kingfisher (Halcyon coromanda) does not approach the thresholds for being Vulnerable, either under the range size criterion, or under the population trend criterion, or under the population size criterion. Loss of habitat due to degradation of coastal mangroves is the main threat that may endanger the survival of these species.

IUCN and CITES status

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated the kingfisher species and has listed it as of "Least Concern". CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) status is ‘Not Evaluated’ for the ruddy kingfisher (Halcyon coromanda).
Taxonomy and scientific classification of Halcyon coromanda
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Coraciiformes
Family:Alcedinidae
Subfamily:Halcyoninae
Genus:Halcyon
Species:H. coromanda
Binomial name:Halcyon coromanda
IUCN status listing:
Least Concern
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1.Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ruddy_Kingfisher_Sunderbans_National_Park_West_Bengal_India_23.08.2014.jpg
Image author: Dibyendu Ash | License: CC BY-SA 3.0
2.Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ruddy_Kingfisher.jpg
Image author: Jason Thompson | License: CC BY 2.0
3.Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Halcyon_coromanda,_Kaeng_Krachan_1.jpg
Image author: Jason Thompson | License: CC BY 2.0
4.Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ruddy_Kingfisher_Tokyo.jpg
Image author: Jason Thompson | License: CC BY 2.0
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