White-throated Kingfisher

White-throated Kingfishers (Halcyon smyrnensis) are found from the Philippines and westward through the southern parts of Asia and parts of the Middle East all the way to Turkey. My dad spotted this White-throated Kingfisher in the Elephant Nature Park in the Chiang Mai Province in northern Thailand during my parents' visit there in late 2006. It came and perched on a fence post in a field at the park every afternoon.

White-throated Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis) in Thailand

A White-throated Kingfisher can be recognized by its large, red bill, rust-colored head, shoulders, and underparts, turquoise-blue back, wings, and tail, and by its characteristic white throat and upper chest. The wings have white patches which are visible when it flies.

White-throated Kingfishers are adaptable predators and will dive into the water to capture aquatic prey like fish, crabs, and amphibians or will plunge into the grass and undergrowth to capture terrestrial prey like large insects and invertebrates, small reptiles, rodents, and baby birds. The Elephant Nature Park has a river running through it that is lined with grassy fields, so this lucky White-throated Kingfisher has a diverse hunting territory.