Saturday, February 25, 2012

Small is Beautiful

Almost every time I have been out on Black Creek Lagoon, I have seen a flashes of a small green and cinnamon colored kingfisher flitting through the dense mangrove vegetation.  Back in October, I was finally able to get a good look at one of them and even took some photos that were good enough to ID the little bird as an American Pygmy Kingfisher, aka the Least Green Kingfisher, Chloroceryle aenea.


There are 2 other green kingfishers found in this habitat that this one can be confused with, but, at 5 1/4  inches, this one is the smallest of them.  Probably why it is called "pygmy".  ;-)


The American Pygmy Kingfisher has a cinnamon collar, in contrast to the white collar of the Green Kingfisher and the Amazon Kingfisher.


A few days later I was able to get a look at and some better shots of another Pygmy while kayaking in the mangroves.

Unlike the Amazon Kingfisher, which is considerably larger (11 plus inches!), the Pygmy Kingfisher and the Green Kingfisher both have rows of white spots on their green wings.  The female pygmy and green kingfishers have a green band across their breast.






This was a very friendly male who sat and talked to me for about 15 minutes while I photographed it from the kayak.






Nearby were what looked like nest holes excavated on the bank of the creek.  I will definitely come back later to see if I can detect any nesting behavior.Posted by Picasa

13 comments:

  1. Excellent pictures of the kingfisher, our kingfishers on our local rivers are almost impossible to photograph they are unapproachable and all you see is a blue and orange flash as they pass.

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    1. Thank you, David. These were the best views I have ever had of the pygmies; a real treat!

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  2. A beautiful little bird to see... your images are fantastic.

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    1. Thanks, Andrew. I was thrilled to get them.

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  3. What an adorable little fella and the colours are striking as well.

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  4. Super images of a great little bird.

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    1. It was a treat to be able to watch these 2 individuals. Thanks for commenting.

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  5. Wow these shots are superb Wilma and what a chance you have to see them. It's a beautiful bird... We have none of this family around unfortunately ;-) And I've been struggling to get one European kingfisher picture in France ;-)

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  6. You'll just have to come to Belize, Chris!

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