American Pygmy Kingfisher

American Pygmy Kingfisher

Do you love small birds? Because inside kingfishers there are also small species! Like the American Pygmy Kingfisher. Ready to learn things about him?

Where on the planet do they live?

This species of coraciform bird, which belongs to the family of cerylidae, is known as Chloroceryle aenea. It lives in the lowlands of the American tropics, spreading from southern Mexico to central Brazil.

They usually live near streams or large water sources, in dense forests and mangroves. It mainly occupies the Amazon basin, as well as the Tocantins River account in the Brazilian state of Pará.

Anything to highlight about their physical appearance?

If there is one thing that characterizes this species is its small size, being the smallest of the family of kingfishers. It measures 13 cm and weighs about 18 cm, with a short tail and a very long beak. It presents a slight sexual dimorphism.

The colour of its plumage is olive green in the upper part, with an orange-yellow collar on the neck. The lower part of his body is reddish in colour, with a white belly.

In the case of the female, this one has a greenish band on its chest, quite narrow. When they are young, they have the lower part in a paler tone, without the female’s band, nor do they have the white spots of the wings and flanks characteristic of this species.

Chloroceryle aenea

Two subspecies are recognized:

  • Chloroceryle aenea aenea: It differs from the main species by two lines of white spots on the wings. It is located in Costa Rica.
  • Chloroceryle aenea stictoptera: It has three, or four, dotted lines and a white spot that hides on the tail feathers. It is also found in Costa Rica.

Do we know anything about its characteristics?

When it is time to hunt its prey, it rests on the perch or branch of a tree, close to the water. When he sees his target, he swoops down and dives in to hunt it down with his big beak. Because it is such a small species, it feeds on small fish, tadpoles and insects that it catches on the fly.

The nest, made mostly by the female, consists of a 40 cm deep nest that ends in a huge chamber, near a river bank, or under a mound of earth. The female builds a very simple nest, in which she lays three to four white eggs after breeding with the male.

Pygmy Kingfisher

While the male watches out for any predators, the female’s task will be to incubate the eggs. A process that takes about 21 days. When the chicks are hatched, they take several weeks to leave the nest for the first time.

It is not until they are two months old, when we could say that they are young, that they leave the nest and live their lives apart from their parents.

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American Pygmy Kingfisher
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