Azure Kingfisher

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Common Name: Azure Kingfisher
Scientific Name: Alcedo azurea

Size: 6 ½ - 7 ½ inches (17-19cm)

Habitat: Australia; found in Northern and Eastern Australia and Tasmania, as well as in the Moluccas and Lesser Sundas (Indonesia), New Guinea and surrounding islands. In Australia, it is found from the Kimberley region, Western Australia, across the Top End to Queensland, and is widespread east of the Great Dividing Range to the Victorian border and south into Victoria. Habitat includes the banks of vegetated rivers and creeks as well as billabongs, lakes, swamps and dams, usually in shady overhanging vegetation. It is sometimes seen in parks on rivers, as well as duck or goldfish ponds in urban areas.

Status: Least Concern. Global population: Unknown. Stock trampling vegetation around waterholes affects the Azure Kingfisher. Human activities that cause artificial flooding of waterways can drown nests. Water that is turbid (not clear) and the introduction of European Carp (which competes for food resources) can also adversely affect local populations.

Diet: Yabbies (crayfish), small fish, aquatic insects and other invertebrates, and, sometimes, frogs. They will often bash their prey against the perch before swallowing it head first. Often watch Platypuses foraging underwater and catch any food items that are disturbed.

Nesting: Nest in a chamber up to 1 m long in an earthen creek bank. 5-7 white, rounded, glossy eggs.

Cool Facts: Often difficult to see until it quickly darts from a perch above water. Voice is a high-pitched, shrill, 'pseet-pseet'.

Found in Songbird ReMix Australia Volume I

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