Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Kings Are Raising Young Now

I have been lucky to have a pair of White-throated Kingfishers choose my neighbor's backyard as their nesting site. Since late last year, I have documented their courtship, the building of their nest hole, mating, to the feeding of the female king while she incubated their eggs.
Since, last week the behavior of the pair has been different and both are now actively heading out to hunt. The male is still arguably the best hunter of the two and he brings the huge protein pieces for his young ones.
Now the pair tend to enter the nest silently without much fanfare and I have to be close to hear the soft calls to know that they are around. Just before photographing the Common Bronzeback catching the Four-lined Tree Frog. The scene that unfolded was the male King defending his nest from a juvenile Clouded Monitor Lizard. He was very loud and aggressive, and he even used his beak to prod the half meter lizard away from the nest site.In the photo below the female brought an insect for her young. But the male continues to bring lizards. Not only are the lizards smaller but he's taken to dismembering them. Or he'll mangle them up a little probably to soften up the prey for the young birds. No longer are the lizards alive like when he fed the female.Once they are done feeding the young, each bird will fly off in a flash of brilliant blue.

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