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Australian Wildlife

  Azure Kingfisher (Alcedo azurea)





Azure Kingfisher | Alcedo azurea photo
Azure Kingfisher (Alcedo azurea ruficollaris), Julatten, Queensland, Australia

Image by JJ Harrison (http://www.noodlesnacks.com/) - Some rights reserved.    (view image details)

Azure Kingfisher | Alcedo azurea photo
Azure Kingfisher, Daintree

Image by Andrea Arbogast - Some rights reserved.    (view image details)



AZURE KINGFISHER FACTS

Description
The Azure Kingfisher is a small azure blue kingfisher black bill and a short tail. The neck has an orange stripe on each side. The throat is washed with orange becoming more reddish on belly. The legs and feet are red. Males and females are similar. Immatures have darker head and duller colours.

Other Names
Common Skylark, English Skylark, Northern Skylark

Size
19cm

Habitat
near rivers, creeks, billabongs, lakes and swamps. Often seen in overhanging vegetation

Food
fish, crustaceans, aquatic insects and other invertebrates

Breeding
Nests at the end of a burrow dug out of soil in a riverbank. The tunnel is about 1m long and slopes upwards to the nesting chamber. Lays 4-7 eggs.

Range
northern and eastern Australia from Western Australia across top end of Northern Territory and down length of Queensland to Victoria. Also found in New Guinea and neighbouring islands.

Notes
How to identify common kingfishers. Little Kingfisher - very small blue kingfisher with small white patch on neck. Azure Kingfisher - orange underparts and violet sheen. Forest kingfisher - turquoise green head and back with white underparts and black legs. Sacred kingfisher - torquoise back with dark head, cream collar and dark eye stripe.



Classification
Class:Aves
Order:Coraciiformes
Family:Alcedinidae
Genus:Alcedo
Species:azurea
Common Name:Azure Kingfisher

Relatives in same Genus
  Little Kingfisher (A. pusilla)