13 March 2012

Kingfisher on stamps….



Kingfisher on Stamps

- Julian Fernandes

I was just walking down to my office at Hinjewadi, Pune in the early hours of the day and I got a glimpse of a very shy bird – The Kingfisher (the white throated Kingfisher); it is a treat to see for any bird lover especially when its swooping down from a perch to have a meal of worms/insects.

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Kingfishers are a group of small to medium sized brightly colored birds in the order Coraciiformes. They have a cosmopolitan distribution, with most species being found in the Old World and Australia.


There are roughly 90 species of kingfisher. All have large heads, long, sharp, pointed bills, short legs, and stubby tails. Most species have bright plumage with little differences between the sexes. Most species are tropical in distribution, and a small majority are found only in forests.

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Many countries around the globe have the Kingfisher as an essential bird to be included in Bird sets (Birdlife / birds set etc).


Some Kingfisher species are:

The White breasted Kingfisher – The call of this kingfisher is a chuckling chake-ake-ake-ake-ake. They are particularly noisy in the breeding season.

Local Names in India are: Hindi: Kilkila, Kourilla;Himachal Pradesh: Neela machhrala; Punjabi: Wadda machhera; Bengali: Sandabuk machhranga; Assamese: Masroka; Gujarati: Kalkaliyo, Safedchati kalkaliyo; Marathi: Khandya; Tamil: Vichuli; Telugu: Lakmuka, Buchegadu; Malayalam: Ponman; Kannada: Rajamatsi .


The Pied Kingfisher - is a water kingfisher and is found widely distributed across Africa and Asia. Their black and white plumage, crest and the habit of hovering over clear lakes and rivers before diving for fish makes it distinctive.

Common Kingfisher - This sparrow-sized bird has the typical short-tailed, large-headed kingfisher profile; it has blue upperparts, orange underparts and a long bill. It feeds mainly on fish, caught by diving, and has special visual adaptions to enable it to see prey under water.

- Julian Fernandes,  Pune 

email : Julian.destiny@gmail.com

Philatelic Interests: · Birds, Animals, Flowers, Sea life, Butterflies/Moths on stamps.· WWF stamps.

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