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The Alcedinidæ or Kingfisher Family

The only kingfisher that occurs abundantly throughout the Nilgiris is the common kingfisher (Alcedo ispida). This bird is not much larger than a sparrow. The head and nape are blue with faint black cross-bars. The back is glistening pale blue and the tail blue of darker hue. The wings are greenish blue. The sides of the head are gaily tinted with red, blue, black, and white. The lower parts are rusty red. The bill is black and the feet coral red. The beautiful white-breasted kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis)--the large blue species with the chocolate-coloured head and white breast--occurs on the Nilgiris at all elevations, but is not nearly so abundant as its smaller relative.