A brilliantly colored bird possessing bright bands of color, dominated by a very large puffy head!
MEET THE BANDED KINGFISHER
The banded kingfisher (Lacedo pulchella) is a tree kingfisher and the only member of the genus Lacedo. 20 cm long, the banded kingfisher has a sturdy red bill and a short crest which is slowly raised and lowered at will. It shows striking sexual dimorphism compared to most of its relatives. The adult male has a chestnut forehead, cheeks, and nape, along with a bright blue cap. The rest of the upperparts, wings, and tail are black with blue bands. The breast, flanks, and undertail are rufous, the central belly is white.
The adult female is almost as striking as the male, with black-and-rufous-banded upperparts. Her underparts are white with some black bars on the chest and flanks.
Young birds are duller than adults.
These birds are endemic to and found in, the lowland tropical forests of Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos. Malaysia, Sumatra, Java, and Brunei.
Unlike most kingfishers, the banded kingfisher does not need pools or streams in its territory. These birds prefer lowland rainforest found up to 1700 m in Brunei, but normally below 1100 m altitude in the rest of their range.
Banded kingfishers hunt large insects and occasionally small lizards, usually taken in the trees. But they will sometimes also hunt at ground level.
During the breeding season, a nest is built in a hole in a rotting tree trunk, or sometimes in the spherical nest of tree termites. Anywhere from two to five white eggs are usually laid within.
This species is uncommon but widespread in much of its range. Unfortunately, it is rare in Java, very rare in Sumatra, and extinct in Singapore.