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African Pygmy-Kingfisher | Ispidina picta

The African Pygmy-Kingfisher is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Alcedinidae bird family group which includes birds such as Alcedinid Kingfishers.

The description for the African Pygmy-Kingfisher (Latin name Ispidina picta) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Ispidina picta can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 432 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 176. You will find a picture of the African Pygmy-Kingfisher on page 193.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

This bird is known as Pygmy Kingfisher in the Roberts 6th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the African Pygmy-Kingfisher between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition

The African Pygmy-Kingfisher is known in Afrikaans as Dwergvisvanger.

The African Pygmy-Kingfisher has a height of 13 cms and weighs around 15 gms. The head is coloured blue while the bill is coloured red. The Ispidina picta has a white coloured throat, red legs and a blue coloured back. The eyes are brown.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is blue

Eyes are brown

Bill is red

Legs are red

Throat is white

Back is blue

Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground

The Ispidina picta attacks its prey aerially and feeds on wing or takes the prey to a secluded venue where it is killed, torn into small pieces and eaten

This bird has a specially adapted bill which helps it hunt for fish, crabs, shrimp and other aquatic animals in the water.

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten .

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The African Pygmy-Kingfisher is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 3 to 6 eggs and they are coloured white.

The bird builts its nest in a hole in the ground.

The African Pygmy-Kingfisher is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.

The bird is mainly found in the Savanna grasslands where it breeds and feeds.

The African Pygmy-Kingfisher is found in the Southern African wetlands, riverine forests and moist grasslands.

The bird is found in the African bushveld

The bird is at home in riverine forests and close to water bodies such as lakes, dams and streams

This bird is very common in most of the Southern African Forests

You can see the African Pygmy-Kingfisher bird on coastal regions and on the sea shore where the bird will be foraging with other birds

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The African Pygmy-Kingfisher is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.

The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."

copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105

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