The Scaly-breasted Kingfisher, also known as the Oriental dwarf kingfisher, is a small bird that belongs to the Alcedinidae family. These birds are native to the tropical forests of Asia, including India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand, and Indonesia.
The Scaly-breasted Kingfisher has a bright blue upper body and a rusty orange underbody with white scales. The male and female look similar, except for the female's rusty-orange crown. The beak is long and pointed, and the legs are short. These birds usually grow up to 13.5 cm in length and weigh around 25 to 35 grams.
These birds are elusive and difficult to spot because they reside deep in the dense tropical forests, but they can occasionally be spotted perched on low branches. They usually preen and bask in the sun, then fly down at high speeds to catch their prey, which consists of insects, lizards, and small snakes. They are known to catch their prey by diving into the water with incredible speed.
Scaly-breasted Kingfishers are monogamous and choose a partner for life. The pair will build their nest in cavities of a dead tree or take over the existing hole of a woodpecker. The female will lay around 3 to 4 eggs, which will take up to 17 days to hatch. Both parents will take responsibility for feeding the hatchlings until they are large enough to leave the nest. Then, for the next few days, the parents will teach them how to hunt and feed themselves.
These birds are a part of the tropical ecosystem and play a significant role in controlling the insect and reptile population. They add to the beauty of the forests with their vibrant colours and unique hunting techniques, making them an essential and cherished part of our eco-environment.
In conclusion, the Scaly-breasted kingfisher is a unique and beautiful bird that has adapted to its natural habitat perfectly. Despite their small size, they are skilled predators and crucial members of the ecosystem. Though they are solitary creatures, their bright blue feathers and unique hunting techniques make them an essential and admired part of the forest.