Blue-eared Kingfisher (Alcedo meninting)

This bird is a rare resident in Singapore and listed as Critically Endangered. It was considered common in the last century, but has rarely been seen since 1927. There are recent records from the Central Catchment Area, Hindhede Quarry, Pulau Tekong, Poyan, and Sungei Buloh.

A rather sedentary and shy forest bird, it lives in the understorey of lowland primary and secondary forests. The Blue-eared Kingfisher is typically found near or around well-shaded jungle pools and streams, less often along open rivers or along the seashore. It is not attached to the immediate vicinity of water, and can sometimes be found in the forest well away from the nearest water source.

It is usually seen singly, perched motionlessly, on a low branch overhanging small jungle streams or pools, regularly bobbing its head up and down, occasionally flicking its tail up and down. It dives almost vertically downwards to catch its prey, often completely submerging itself, before flying off to a nearby perch to eat its catch. It is rare to get a good view of it in the forest, except for a bright blue flash as it flies very fast from perch to perch.

Sources:

Images: 1 by Daniel Koh; 2, 3, 10 by Lee Tiah Khee; 4, 9 by Johnny Wee; 5, 6, 7, 8 by Eddy Lee;

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