Mystery Bird: Oriental Dwarf-Kingfisher, Ceyx erithaca

tags: , , , ,

[Mystery bird] Oriental Dwarf-Kingfisher, Ceyx erithaca, photographed "somewhere" in Indonesia. [I will identify this bird for you in 48 hours]

Image: a herpetologist photographed this bird while visiting the islands of Indonesia [larger view].

Please name at least one field mark that supports your identification.

Review all mystery birds to date.

More like this

Looking at the bill I'm going to guess that its a type of kingfisher.

Here we go with the bad puns again, but I'm going to say it's Snow White's eighth companion, Robin.
Yes JPS it's a kingfisher.

Tastes like very colorful chicken.

thats the bastard that raided my wardrobe!

Wow! Not seen one of them before. What a beautifully colourful creature.

hmmm, Adrian and carel, I'm afraid I'm going to have to disagree with you both...

I believe the "motley" bird to which you refer should have yellow underparts and not the rufous I see, and Adrian, if I'm interpreting your pun correctly, a red-breast, even in paradise, would be out too...

I would look more towards a definite eighth companion, but closer to the world's eleventh largest island... and be prepared to be "deceived' twice!

By David Hilmy (not verified) on 26 Feb 2010 #permalink

I've never seen SW's friend from Babirusaland, but I always imagined him to be a browner fellow than this, although David's suspicion would explain Grrl's reluctance to identify the island of origin. I'm going to stand firm and prepare myself for possible humiliation on Sunday.

Hello David, Did you mean a "fallacy" rather than a deception? I think the bill is wrong for that species, too red and large.
I still have problems including links but if you look at www. for "Robin" I think you will see what I mean.
I also think the cap should be better defined with a broad supercilium for your candidate.

Hello David, Yes Rufous-backed is a recent split from the complex and is considered a good species now.

Honey, I Shrunk the Kingfisher!

Given the beautiful plumage and the fact that it seems to be nailed to the perch, my guess would be a Norwegian Blue.

By MadScientist (not verified) on 27 Feb 2010 #permalink

but 'e ain't pinin' for the fjords...! nor is 'e bleedin' demised or bereft of life!

By David Hilmy (not verified) on 27 Feb 2010 #permalink

i wish i knew who the photographer was, but this image was emailed to me with just the information that you see in the caption. i am hoping the photographer will step forward and provide more info for us, but alas, after months of asking for the identity and contact info for the photograph, i finally decided to use the image as the mystery bird anyway.

Hi Grrl,

I have to say that I am somewhat confused- if there is indeed a taxonomic difference between rufidorsa (and ALL the photos I have seen clearly indicate a bright yellow breast and belly and a relatively small white throat) and erithaca as Adrian proposed (and the increased brown, as opposed to bright yellow, and distinct white throat seem to support this as distinct from the "rufous-backed") then we really do need to know the precise location of the individual above...

as articulated by the Internet Bird Collection:

"Taxonomy: Alcedo erithaca Linnaeus,1758. Bengal.
Forms a superspecies with C. melanurus. Distinctive rufous-backed form was, in past, widely considered a separate species, "C. rufidorsa"; this view was supported by the situation N of Kuala Lumpur (C Peninsular Malaysia), where there is little hybridization between rufous-backed and black-backed morphs and only the latter is migratory; on other hand, considerable hybridization occurs in Borneo, and also in Sumatra and S Peninsular Malaysia, with a wide range of intermediates, strongly suggesting that the two forms are merely morphs of a single species. Population on Sumatran islands of Simeulue and Batu sometimes separated as race jungei and that on Nias as race captus, but both now seem better placed within nominate; birds of Mindoro have at times been further separated as race vargasi."

By David Hilmy (not verified) on 28 Feb 2010 #permalink

sorry about the mix up in classification. i've been without wireless for two weeks, and then upon getting wifi restored, i fell ill for three days! i am finally feeling more human (meaning, capable of following up on the taxonomy of this species).