The black-capped kingfisher (Halcyon pileata) is a tree kingfisher which is widely distributed in tropical Asia from India east to China, Korea and Southeast Asia. This most northerly of the tree kingfishers is resident over much of its range, but northern populations are migratory, wintering south of their range in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Borneo and Java. It is distinctive in having a black cap that contrasts with the whitish throat, purple-blue wings and the coral red bill. The species is mainly found in coastal and mangrove habitats but can sometimes be found far inland.
This kingfisher is about 28 centimetres (11 in) long. The adult has purple-blue wings and back, black head and shoulders, white neck collar and throat, and rufous underparts. The large bill and legs are bright red. In flight, large white patches or "mirrors" at the base of the primaries are visible on the blue and black wings. Sexes are similar, but juveniles are a duller version of the adult and show streaks on the throat. The call of this kingfisher is a cackling ki-ki-ki-ki-ki.
Usually seen on coastal waters and especially in mangroves, it is easily disturbed. It perches conspicuously and dives to catch fish, and also feeds on large insects. The flight of the black-capped kingfisher is rapid and direct, the short rounded wings whirring. The breeding season is in summer. The nest is a tunnel in an earth bank. A single clutch of 4-5 round, white eggs is typical.
The species is found mainly near the coast in mangrove forests and along estuaries and rivers. The distribution ranges from India (including the Andaman and Nicobar Islands where they occur even on remote islands like Narcondam), Sri Lanka, Kansu, Shansi, Korea, Malay Peninsula, Thailand, Burma, Ryukyu Islands, Bangladesh, Hainan, Philippines (Palawan, Balabac, Basilan, Tawi Tawi), Borneo, Sumatra east to Sulawesi where it occurs only in winter. Vagrants in winter have been recorded in Pakistan, while movements related to rainfall may lead to their being found far inland and away from their usual distribution. [Source: Wikipedia].
Boarded the boat in Kuala Sepetang on 11 December 2021 at 10:30am and the trip took two hours. The boat was operated by Kuala Sepetang Eco Tourism.
Name: Black-capped kingfisher
Scientific: Halcyon pileata
Malay: Pekaka Kepala Hitam / Pekaka Kopiah Hitam / Pekaka Ubun Hitam
IUCN Red List (v3.1, 2016): Least Concern
Gear: SONY a1 + SEL200600G + SEL14TC
Location: Kuala Sepetang, Perak
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