(Ceyx azureus)

Description: Also known as the blue kingfisher, water kingfisher and creek kingfisher.

It is a small kingfisher-flying swift and low over water. Its flight is swift and it usually keeps close to the surface of the water in streams.  It has a combination of royal blue plumage on its upperparts contrasting with orange on its underparts. The neck has a distinctive orange stripe on each side and there is a small orange spot before each eye. Throat is paler than belly, black beak and bright orange legs.

Size:  16-19 cm

Voice: High insect-like trill

Feeding: Perches and scans water before diving headfirst to snatch fish and crustaceans from below the surface. Insects and frogs. They will often bash their prey against the perch before swallowing it headfirst.

Habitat:  Found singly or in pairs, frequents fresh or tidal creeks where there are branches or roots overhanging the waterway.

Location:  Northern and eastern Australia, in Australia it is found in the Kimberley region WA, across the top end to Queensland and is widespread east of the Great Dividing Range and in Victoria – its range extends inland along some major rivers of the Murray Darling basin.

Nests: A chamber at the end of a tunnel in the bank of a stream. The nesting chamber can be 80-130cm long. Flooding can destroy low-lying burrows.

Eggs: 5 or 6, white, rounded and glossy.

Breeding season: September to January in the Southern regions. They are monogamous pairs that defend their breeding territory. Both parents feed and incubate the chicks.

Acknowledgements: Field Guide to the Birds of Australia: Simpson and Day,  A Naturalists Guide to the Birds of Australia: Dean Ingwersen National Geographic, What Bird is that?: Neville W Cayleys, YouTube.

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