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Brown-hooded Kingfisher
(Halcyon albiventris)



Brown-hooded Kingfisher

General description

This is the only kingfisher in the region with a brownish streaked head and upper breast.

In flight, the turquoise flight feathers are very conspicuous. The underwings are cinnamon.

Sexes are similar although female is slightly larger and has brown (not black) back and wing coverts.

Call is a 3 to 5 note descending trill, "Ki-ti-ti-ti".

Name & classification

Scientific name:
Halcyon albiventris

Common names:
Brown-hooded Kingfisher (English)
Bruinkopvisvanger (Afrikaans)

Roberts VII english name:
Brown-hooded Kingfisher

Roberts VII scientific name:
Halcyon albiventris

Family:
Kingfishers (Alcedinidae)

Further information

Length:
23cm

Weight:
60g

Diet:
Although the main food is insects, they are will also eat geckos, skinks, young birds, small chameleons, snakes, fish, crabs and even rodents.

Nesting:
Nest is a tunnel excavated into a vertical bank. Eggs are laid on soil about one metre from the entrance.

Incubation is by the female only and takes about 14 days.

Natural distribution:
These kingfishers are found in most wooded parts of South Africa.

Habitat:
Most woodland habitats, but preference for riparian margins. Common visitor to wooded gardens.

Notes:
Sometimes confused with the smaller Striped Kingfisher which has a black upper and red lower bill.

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