You are here

The Alcedinidæ or Kingfisher Family

The Himalayan pied kingfisher (Ceryle lugubris) is a bird as large as a crow. Its plumage is speckled black and white, like that of a Hamburg fowl. It feeds entirely on fish, and frequents the larger hill streams. Its habit is to squat on a branch, or if the day be cloudy, on a boulder in mid-stream, whence it dives into the water after its quarry. Sometimes, kestrel-like, it hovers in the air on rapidly-vibrating pinions until it espies a fish in the water below, when it closes its wings and drops with a splash in the water, to emerge with a silvery object in its bill.