If you see a sudden flash of blue out of the corner of your eye during a 4x4 safari of Yala National Park you have probably just witnessed a Sri Lankan King Fisher dart from its perch into the water to hunt for a fish.
The Blue Flash. Yala National Park Sri Lankan White-throated Kingfishers
There are no prizes for guessing how this bird received its descriptive name. This kingfisher does not just restrict itself to eating only fish. It is partial to crabs, small rodents, lizards, frogs and even small birds. Its large beak and legs are red.
They nest in tunnels in river banks that are excavated using their large beak. The tunnels range in length from 50cm to nearly one meter. The female lays between four and seven eggs. and they take about twenty days to hatch.
The young chicks fledge and leave the nest at about twenty days. If you are on a river trip or near any water landscape look up in the surrounding trees or palms. You may be lucky to see one of these colourful white-throated kingfishes sitting in ambush waiting for an unsuspecting fish to swim by.
Yala National Park Sri Lankan White throated King fisher