January 24, 2017
The Kingfishers are a group of relatively small birds that feed almost exclusively on fish and inhabit most of the world. The Private Reserve at Tambo Blanquillo is blessed with having an idyllic habitat for all of the 5 species of Kingfishers that can be found in Peru. In this blog post, we will give you an introductory look at each of these species, as well as useful information on where and when to search for them.
The Ringed Kingfisher is the biggest of all kingfishers in Peru, averaging a length of 40cm. It is unmistakable due to its extraordinary size –compared to other kingfishers- and its blue-gray coloration, and rufous chest. It is a common bird, that can be found in almost every morning in all three of our Oxbow Lakes. They like to sit at lone poles, as well as overhanging vegetation.
The Amazon Kingfisher is the second biggest Kingfisher found in our Reserve, and arguably the most common. Its plumage is metallic green in the back, head, and wings, with a white belly and a patch of rufous feathers in the chest. It is almost identical to the Green Kingfisher described below, but substantially bigger.
It is very easy to see in any of our Oxbows Lakes, and it is always perched in overhanging vegetation, waiting for an unsuspecting fish. There is also a resident pair that nests in our Blanquillo Clay-lick, and fish in the surrounding area.
Virtually a clone of the Amazon Kingfisher, but 50% smaller. While the Amazon Kingfisher is about 30cms long, the Green Kingfisher ranges from 19-21cm. An easy and abundant species to see on our Oxbow Lakes, and on the Madre de Dios River. The best spot to see them is on fallen trees by the oxbow lakes, which they use as hunting stations.
Of all of the species of Kingfisher found in Peru, the Green-and-Rufous Kingfisher is arguably the most attractive one. With a dark metallic green coating, and rufous throat, belly, and underpants, finishing with a delicately spotted pattern on the tail and wings, is hard to find another Kingfisher that can stand to such harsh competition. As the other small Kingfisher, this species prefers darker, slow moving water. Best bet to see one is on Camungo Oxbow Lake, or on one of the creeks that flow through the reserve.
With 12cm, it is the tiniest of all kingfishers found in Peru, and one of the hardest to see. Due to its small size, and therefore smaller prey size, it searches for tiny fishes and tadpoles in very shallow and small moving bodies of water, avoiding most Oxbow Lakes and Rivers, and restricting itself to very small and dark creeks. Your best bet to see one is near the pier at Camungo Oxbow Lake, as there is one that hangs around that area.
Please contact us if you happen to have any questions.