Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher (Ceyx erithaca)

This is a small Kingfisher, 5 inch in length with exquisite colours having yellow under parts, blue, black and purple upperparts and a red beak and legs. The Oriental Dwarf is regarded as the most beautiful of the Kingfishers.

It is found along streams and lowland tropical forests and abandoned or overgrown plantations where they reside and are hard to spot, keeping low to the ground. I had to crawl with my camera along the undergrowth of a Kerala forest to take this photograph!

An interesting fact is that the Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher is the only Kingfisher that does not catch fish, and feeds on geckos, crabs, snails, frogs, crickets, shrimp and dragonflies.

The Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher nests in excavated mud along rivers and streams and are partially migratory, across Southern Asia and the Indian sub continent, which constitute their distribution area.

They are particularly vulnerable to deforestation and habitat destruction, with their numbers known to be declining across South Asia.

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