Monday, February 13

Brown-winged kingfisher

   ›      ›   Brown-winged kingfisher - Pelargopsis amauroptera.

The brown-winged kingfisher (Pelargopsis amauroptera) is a tree kingfisher belonging to the family Alcedinidae.

These kingfisher species are distributed in India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, and peninsular Malaysia. The brown-winged kingfisher species are large coastal kingfishers, occurring alone coasts bordering the Bay of Bengal. These birds are monotypic species.

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

Brown-winged kingfisher - Overview

  • Scientific name: Pelargopsis amauroptera
  • Species author: (Pearson, JT, 1841)
  • Synonyms/Protonym: Halcyon Amauropterus J. T. Pearson, 1841, Pelargopsis amauropterus
  • Family: Alcedinidae › Coraciiformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Vernacular names: English: Brown-winged kingfisher, Chinese: 褐翅翡翠, French: Martin-chasseur à ailes brunes, German: Braunflügelliest, Spanish: Alción alipardo, Russian: Белокрылый гуриал, Japanese: チャバネコウハシショウビン, Malay: Burung Buaya
  • Other names: Brown-winged Stork-billed-Kingfisher
  • Distribution: India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia
  • Diet and feeding habits: Fish, crabs, frogs
  • IUCN status listing: Near Threatened (NT)
The brown-winged kingfisher (Pelargopsis amauroptera) is closely related to stork-billed kingfisher (Pelargopsis capensis) and great-billed kingfisher (Pelargopsis melanorhyncha).

Appearance, physical description and identification

The brown-winged kingfisher (Pelargopsis amauroptera) is a large tree kingfisher, measuring 35 cm in length and weighing about 160 grams. These kingfisher species have orange head, nape, throat and underparts. The bill and the legs are red. The tip of the bill is pale gray. The irises are dark brownish gray. The back, wings and tail are brownish black and the rump is blue. The tail is short. Their call is a harsh, cackling, repeated “chak-chak" sound.
Indian birds - Photo of Brown-winged kingfisher - Pelargopsis amauroptera
Birds of India - Picture of Brown-winged kingfisher - Pelargopsis amauroptera
Birds of India - Picture of Brown-winged kingfisher - Pelargopsis amauroptera
Indian birds - Image of Brown-winged kingfisher - Pelargopsis amauroptera
Birds of India - Image of Brown-winged kingfisher - Pelargopsis amauroptera
Indian birds - Picture of Brown-winged kingfisher - Pelargopsis amauroptera by Bikash Das
Indian birds - Image of Brown-winged kingfisher - Pelargopsis amauroptera
Birds of India - Photo of Brown-winged kingfisher - Pelargopsis amauroptera by Allan Drewitt

Origin, geographical range and distribution

The brown-winged kingfisher species are distributed in Bay of Bengal coast of India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand and peninsular Malaysia. In India, they are distributed in the states of Odisha and West Bengal. The Ayeyarwady Delta and the Sundarbans are the major habitats.

Ecosystem and habitat

These brown-winged kingfisher species are moderately forest dependent. These species occur in altitudes from 0 - 100 meters. They inhabit various mangrove forests and wetland ecosystems.

These brown-winged kingfisher species inhabit tropical and subtropical mangrove forests, marine intertidal mud flats, salt pans, marine intertidal rocky shoreline, marine intertidal pools, brackish creeks and shallow estuaries. Occasionally they inhabit inland freshwater wetlands.

Diet and feeding behavior

The diet of these kingfisher species is mostly crabs. Fish, crabs, shrimp and frogs are their primary food. They are watch-and-wait hunters, perching quietly whilst seeking food. They dive onto their prey from the perch and catch it with their bill.

Reproduction and breeding habits

The breeding season of the brown-winged kingfisher species is during March and April in India. They are highly territorial and will chase away eagles and other large predators. They are monogamous and both the parents incubate the eggs and feed the chicks.

These kingfisher species excavate their nests in a river mud bank. Their nest is a 30 to 60 cm long burrow with about 10 cm width, ending in a roomy incubating chamber. The clutch contains two to five white round eggs. The chicks are blind and lack feathers when they hatch out.

Migration and movement patterns

The brown-winged kingfisher is a non-migrant resident bird. Post breeding, the kingfisher juveniles 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 brown-winged kingfisher (Pelargopsis amauroptera) has not been quantified. The overall population size of these kingfisher species is considered to be decreasing. Throughout its range it is reported to be rare to fairly common. The generation length is 5.7 years. Their distribution size is about 992,000 sq.km. The brown-winged kingfisher (Pelargopsis amauroptera) is approaching the thresholds for being Vulnerable under the range size criterion, under the population trend criterion and also under the population size criterion. The on-going clearance and degradation of 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 "Near Threatened". CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) status is ‘Not Evaluated’ for the brown-winged kingfisher (Pelargopsis amauroptera).
Taxonomy and scientific classification of Pelargopsis amauroptera
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Coraciiformes
Family:Alcedinidae
Subfamily:Halcyoninae
Genus:Pelargopsis
Species:P. amauroptera
Binomial name:Pelargopsis amauroptera
IUCN status listing:
Near Threatened
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1.Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Brown-wingedKingfisher.jpg
Image author: AjitK332 | License: CC BY-SA 4.0
2.Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Brown_winged_KF.jpg
Image author: Jayanth Sharma | License: CC BY 3.0
3.Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bikashdas/11700950026/
Image author: Bikash Das | License: CC BY 2.0 as on (11-02-17)
4.Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pelargopsis_amauropterus.jpg Image author: Allan Drewitt | License: CC BY 2.0 as on (11-02-17)
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