KINGS & ME- A Coverstory article in CHAITAK


I have focused my photography to Birds just one month after buying my first compact camera on 2008. At that time, I got the opportunity to capture images of locally common birds. In 2009, I have done a good collection; including 2 species of kings (kingfishers) during Bakkhali tour .Those kings are- Pied Kingfisher & Stork –billed Kingfisher. But, I had taken a huge time to identify those birds with the help of my ‘first book’ for birding -‘The book of Indian Birds’ by Salim Ali.

Pied Kingfisher

Pic -1 Pied Kingfisher

Our ‘State Bird’ White throated kingfisher is most common kingfisher in South Bengal. But I don’t remember when and where, first met him/her. But in Birding books, I had always noticed a photo of kingfisher which was known by Common Kingfisher. After waiting for about 2 years, I found Common Kingfisher first time at Mukutmonipur Dam. I also got a great opportunity to take his close snap with a prey. From that time, I believe in my personal experience that ‘Common kingfisher is not so common, like white throated kingfisher, at least in our South Bengal.’

Stork-billed Kingfisher

Pic:2 Stork-billed Kingfisher

Now, my lens is waiting for Blue-eared Kingfisher & Blyth’s Kingfisher. They both are very similar to see with common kingfisher.In last 3-4 years, I have found four formally described species several times in several places. Here, we birder have an important experience, that, if we spot some species first time, further, it’s became more easy to see.There are also other four species of kingfisher found in our South Bengal, mainly in Sundarbon. i.e. Black-capped Kingfisher, Collared Kingfisher, Ruddy Kingfisher , Brown-winged Kingfisher. In 2012, I have found 1st time Black-capped Kingfisher at Mangrove Forest of Piyali Island. I framed him with a great excitement.

White Throated Kingfisher

Pic 3:White Throated Kingfisher

In 2014, during our Bakkhali tour I have captured another one i.e. Collared Kingfisher, but two Sundarbon Special-, Ruddy Kingfisher, Brown-winged Kingfisher are still in my dream.Here, I have already discussed about 10 species of Kingfisher. But in Indian subcontinent other 2 species of kingfisher are also found. One is –Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher—Smallest Kingfisher of Indian Subcontinent and other is Crested Kingfisher –Largest Kingfisher of Indian Subcontinent. So, we have 12 ‘King’ in our subcontinent. So, friends – Let’s go for Kings….

Common Kingfisher

Pic 4: Common Kingfisher

Collared Kingfisher

Pic 5: Collared Kingfisher

Black-capped Kingfisher

Pic 6: Black-capped Kingfisher

Courtesy  – CHAITAK -Monthly  magazine on it  nature and   its Conservation   by WNC                                                                                                                                by S Sanki

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