Saturday, 29 April 2017

Thailand birds

In order to discipline myself in sorting out my records and photographs from my trip to Thailand last December, I'm going to aim to post my best photographs of two or three species seen on the trip each day, along with a few lines on their ecology to reaffirm my own understanding of each species as much as anything.

To start off..

Black-thighed Falconets Microhierax fringillarius allopreening. Watching this pair was one of the highlights of the trip. They are amusingly diminutive, measuring just 14-17cm in length. Found in open forest, often near water, the species preys on insects and small birds. Up to four birds may share the same prey item. Prey is caught in flight after the falconet spots it from its perch. They often nest in old barbet or woodpecker holes and leave them bare inside, laying 4-5 eggs inside and using the cavity to roost year-round. They are classed as Least Concern and found in south-eastern Asia and Indonesia.

Brahminy Kite Haliastur indus. Found across much of southern and south-eastern Asia, as well as Indonesia and northern Australia. This was a fairly regular sight on our trip. The species is often, but not always, found near water and feeds on a variety of small animals, as well as carrion. Nests are constructed of sticks, lined with softer material and one or two eggs are laid, hatching after around 30 days and the young fledging 40-45 days later. Communal roosts occur. Least Concern but declines noted in Java and parts of Thailand.
Collared Kingfisher Todiramphus chloris. Found in patches from the Red Sea to Polynesia, this 'tree kingfisher' (subfamily Halcyonidae) has some 50 races listed in HBW. The birds we saw will have been armstongi. They are fond of mangroves but will use other habitats, feeding on a variety of small animals. Nesting in a bank, suitable tree or something else they can excavate a cavity (or they may move in to an old woodpecker hole), 2-5 eggs are laid and young will fledge around 30 days later.