Monday, 5 December 2011


The rainforest of Iron Range is rich in kingfishers and we caught several of a few species in the mist nets. The Azure Kingfisher above and the Little Kingfisher, below hunt fish in the small slow-flowing creeks. And although they look bright and boldly coloured when in the hand, they are very easily overlooked when they perch quietly on low branches above the water, often in deep shadow, low down as they are under the rainforest canopy. 

One of the more flamboyant kingfisher species is the Buff-breasted Paradise Kingfisher, below. These birds have spectacular long white tail-streamers which flash as the birds swoop through the lower layer of the rainforest. And these birds are migrants from Papua New Guinea. They all had freshly-grown flight feathers, including their tails, which must have been grown before they flew across the sea to Cape York.

The Buff-breasted Paradise Kingfishers hunt terrestrial animals on the forest floor. And like the other species they are difficult to see except for the white flash of their tails and backs as they dash through the trees.

No comments:

Post a Comment