Ceryle rudis   (Linnaeus,  1758) (Bird)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Aves

Image copyrights: Pbase

Size: There are no size differences between male and female birds. The average male is 82.4 g with a bill length of 48.8 mm, and the average female is 86.4 g with a bill length of 48.4 mm. Body mass ranges from 70 to 100 g. Sexes can be distinguished by sexually dimorphic bands across the chest. Males characteristically have two black bands whereas females have only one. The typical body length is 25 to 29 cm, wing length is 13.3 to 14.2 cm, and tail length is 6.6 to 7.4 cm.

Color: Adult: Crest black, superciliary stripe white; ear coverts black; cheeks, chin and under parts white except two black breast bands in male and broken black band in female; back black mottled and barred white; tail black and white above and white below with a black band near the tip. Bill and feet black.

Voice: High chirrik-chirrik.

Habits: Has a characteristic habit of hunting by hovering over water with bill pointing down and fast beating wings, plunges vertically downwards to catch the fish.

Male: A black and white Kingfisher with small crest, black band through eye with broad white supercilium, upperparts blotched with black, white underparts with black breast-band. Female: Similar to male but has single, usually broken breastband.
Crest flat.

Breeding: Pied kingfishers breed in winter in northern and southern parts of their range and breed in any month near the equator. Pairs are monogamous, and both sexes assist in digging nest holes in soft earth. Nest-Pied kingfishers build nests by using their beaks to dig into the ground and their feet to push dirt out of the nest. Nests can be built alone or colonially with up to 100 other birds building nests in the same area. They are built along creeks and rivers and take 23 to 26 days to complete. Colonial nesting is more common in Africa than in India. Eggs are laid at intervals of one day and begin three days after burrow completion. Eggs are glossy, white and round. Incubation takes eighteen days, and a typical clutch contains five eggs. In order to protect the eggs, about 80% of nest holes are actually false starts that do not lead to the egg chamber.

Synonym (s)

Common Name (s)
• Lesser Pied Kingfisher (English)
• pied kingfisher (English)
• Pulli ponman (Malayalam)
• Neella buchigadu (Telugu)
• Kilkila (Marathi)
• Kabaro kalkaliyo (Gujrati)
• Dao natu meberang (Cachar )
• Kilikila, (Hindi)
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Ecosystem balance
(Pied kingfishers are major predators of fish. There is some evidence for a mutualistic relationship with clawless otters (Amblonyx))
Importance:  Commercial
(Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

In Nigeria, pied kingfishers are kept as pets and become tame after one week. They are free to roam with children after that time but some return to the wild. Some pied kingfishers are eaten in this area as well.

Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

Pied kingfishers may interfere with fishing operations, including angling, fish stocking, or fish farming.)

Habitat:  Estuarine, Coastal
Trophic Level:  Consumer
Prey:  Mainly fish, tadpoles and aquatic insect
Predator:  lanner falcons (Falco biarmicus) cobras (Naja) mongooses (Herpestes) safari ants (Dorylus nigricans
IUCN Status:  Least Concern


• Goa, Anjuna INDIA (Record: 17/10/1980)
• Goa, Curca INDIA (Record: 23/09/1999)
• Kerala, Kol wetlands (Lat: 10.66) (Long: 76.18) INDIA
• Kerala, Kol wetlands (Lat: 10.33) (Long: 75.96) INDIA
• Kerala, Vembanad Lake (Lat: 9.28) (Long: 76.31) INDIA
• Kerala, Vembanad Lake (Lat: 9.66) (Long: 76.55) INDIA
• Haryana, Kurukshetra INDIA
• Goa, Carambolim INDIA
• Delhi, Okhla barrage bird sanctuary INDIA
• Kerela, Kuttanad wetlands INDIA
• Karnataka, Anekere wetland INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Chennai, Pallikaranai Wetlands INDIA
• Andhra Pradesh, Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary INDIA
• Haryana, Kurukshetra INDIA
• Gujarat, Mahi River estuary INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Muthupet Mangroves (Lat: 10.33) (Long: 79.58) INDIA
• Orissa, Bhitarkanika INDIA
• Goa, Taleigao Plateau INDIA
• Maharashtra, Satara district INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at - http://www.marinespecies.org
  • (2003) IUCN Red list of threatened species Available at - http://www.iucnredlist.org/
  • Kumar, A; Sati, JP; Tak, PC and Alfred, JRB (2005) Handbook on Indian wetland birds and their conservation Zoological Survey of India, Dehra Dun 468 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Lainer, H (2004) Birds of Goa : A reference book The Goa Foundation, Goa 244 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • PBase Available at - http://www.pbase.com/
  • Nameer, PO (2005) Wetlands and waterfowl conservation in kerala with special reference to Ramsar sites kerala environment congress 2005 Centre for environment and development 97-112 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Vernacular names of the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent Buceros, Envis newsletter: Avian Ecology & Inland Wetlands 62pp Available at - http://www.bnhsenvis.nic.in/pdf/BUCEROS%203%20(1).pdf
  • Kumar A, sati JP and Tak CK (2003) Checklist of Indian Waterbids Buceros Envis Newsletter: Avian ecology and inland wetlands 8(1) 30pp Available at - http://www.bnhsenvis.nic.in/pdf/BUCEROS%208%20(1).pdf
  • Myers, P; Espinosa, R; Parr, CS; Jones, T; Hammond, GS and Dewey, TA (2006) Animal diversity web Available at - http://animaldiversity.org.
  • Shanbag A.B, Walia R and Borges S.D (2001) Impact of Konkan railway project on the avifauna of Carambolim lake in Goa Zoos' print journal 16(6) 503-508 Available at - http://www.zoosprint.org/ZooPrintJournal/2001/June/503-508.pdf
  • Urfi AJ (2003) The birds of Okhla barrage bird sanctuary, Delhi, India Forktail 19 39-50pp Available at - http://www.orientalbirdclub.org/publications/forktail/19pdfs/Urfi-Okhla.pdf
  • Narayanan SP, Thomas AP and Sreekumar B (2011) Ornithofauna and its conservation in the Kuttanad wetlands, southern portion of Vembanad-Kole Ramsar site, India Journal of Threatened Taxa 3(4) 1663–1676 Available at - http://threatenedtaxa.org/ZooPrintJournal/2011/April/o187026iv111663-1676.pdf
  • Bhat PI, Cristopher SS and Hosetti BB (2009) Avifaunal diversity of Anekere wetland, Karkala, Udupi district, Karnataka, India Journal of Environmental Biology 30(6) 1059-1062pp Available at - http://www.jeb.co.in/journal_issues/200911_nov09/paper_22.pdf
  • Rao VV, Anjaneyulu M, Nagulu V, Srinivasulu C and Satyanarayana D (2004) Water fowl Status at Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh EPTRI - ENVIS Newsletter 10(4) 7-12pp Available at - http://envis-eptri.ap.nic.in/images/Vol.10,%20No.4,%202004.pdf
  • Kumar P and Gupta SK (2009) Diversity and Abundance of Wetland Birds around Kurukshetra, India Our Nature 7 212-217 Available at - http://www.mtnforum.org/sites/default/files/pub/6167.pdf
  • Nikhil Raj PP, Ranjini J, Dhanya R, Subramanian J, Azeez PA and Bhupathy S (2010) Consolidated checklist of birds in the Pallikaranai Wetlands, Chennai, India Journal of Threatened Taxa 2(8) 1114-1118pp Available at - http://threatenedtaxa.org/ZooPrintJournal/2010/July/o222026vii101114-1118.pdf
  • Pandya PJ and Vachhrajani KD (2010) Birds of Mahi River estuary, Gujarat, India Journal of Threatened Taxa 2(6) 994-1000pp Available at - http://threatenedtaxa.org/ZooPrintJournal/2010/June/o231626vi10994-1000.pdf
  • Sivaperuman C and Jayson EA (2000) Birds of Kol wetland, Thrissur, Kerala Zoo's print journal 15(10) 344-349pp Available at - http://www.zoosprint.org/ZooPrintJournal/2000/October/344-349.pdf
  • Deiva Oswin S (1999) Avifaunal diversity of Muthupet mangrove forest Zoo's print journal 14(6) 47-53 Available at - http://www.zoosprint.org/ZooPrintJournal/1999/June/47-53.pdf
  • Gopi GV and Pandav B (2007) Avifauna of Bhitarkanika Mangroves, India Zoo's print journal 22(10) 2839-2847pp Available at - http://www.zoosprint.org/ZooPrintJournal/2007/October/2839-2847.pdf
  • Desai, M and Shanbag, AB (2012) An avifaunal case study of a plateau from Goa, India: an eye opener for conservation of plateau ecosystems Journal of Threatened Taxa 4(3) 2444–2453 Available at - www.threatenedtaxa.org
  • Gupta RC, Kaushik TK and Gupta PK (2012) WINTER MIGRATORY WETLAND BIRDS IN HARYANA ARE CONFRONTING ADVERSE CONDITIONS IN RURAL PONDS Resulting in reduction in arrival number: A case study of village Amin in Thanesar block in Kurukshetra district Indian Journal of Fundamental and Applied Life Sciences 2 (1) 7pp Available at - http://www.cibtech.org/J%20LIFE%20SCIENCES/PUBLICATIONS/2012/Vol%202%20No%201/1-002%20Gupta-Migratory.pdf
  • Pawar SM, Ganeshwade RM and Sonawane SR (2010) Avian fauna along three water reservoir from Satara district (Maharashtra), India The Bioscan 5(4) 609-612pp Available at - http://thebioscan.in/Journals_PDF/5419-%20S.%20M.%20PAWAR.pdf

Page last updated on:2012-07-11

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