White-collared kingfisher

by Low, Eunice

The white-collared kingfisher (Todiramphus chloris) is one of eight documented species of kingfishers in Singapore.1 It is commonly spotted in mangrove and coastal areas, gardens and parks.

This kingfisher species was featured on the Bird Series S$10 currency notes issued by the Monetary Authority of Singapore between 1976 and 1984.3 It was featured again in 2001 when Singapore Mint launched the Bird Series CashCards to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the actual currency notes.It was also featured on various stamps such as the 35-cent stamp in the Birds series (1975),the S$1 stamp in the Wetland Wildlife series (2000),6 the 5-cent stamp in the Pond Life series (2011),7 and the $1.10 stamp in the Gardens by the Bay series (2012).8

Description
The white-collared kingfisher is distinguished by its aquamarine to shining cobalt blue upper parts and head, black bill and feet, thick white collar, and entirely white underparts.9 It is a medium-sized kingfisher, measuring about 24 to 25 cm in length.10 Both sexes look similar, although the female is more greenish in colour when seen in comparison with the male.11 Juveniles are similar to adults but are greener on their upper parts and buff on the underparts.12

The white-collared kingfisher has several calls. Six to seven types of calls have been recorded, one of which is a distinctive and harsh-sounding “krek krek krek”.13 The species occurs singly or in pairs and can remain inactive on a perch for long periods of time with little movement. The bird’s flight is swift and direct.14 This species was previously named Halcyon chloris,15 but was renamed Todiramphus chloris after DNA studies placed it in the genus Todiramphus.16

Reproduction
White-collared kingfishers have been recorded to nest over the first half of the year, for a period starting from December.17 Their nests are short burrows excavated from arboreal termite mounds or along the roots of ferns growing on trees, or dug by the banks of rivers and ponds.18 They also nest in existing holes in living or dead trees such as palms, or bore their own holes.19 Small materials such as wood chips, fragments of insects and egg shells are used to line the nest chamber.20 Two to four glossy, plain white eggs are usually laid.21 This species is known to exhibit aggressive behaviour during nesting, attacking other birds and even other animals within its breeding territory.22

Diet
The white-collared kingfisher feeds on fish, crabs and other crustaceans near coastal areas. Farther inland, its diet comprises lizards, small snakes, frogs, earthworms and insects such as beetles, bees and grasshoppers.23 Inland, it usually hunts from a perch such as a fence, wire or low tree branch over an open space.24 The bird might use its strong bill and neck to beat larger prey against a branch.25 Along the coast, it can be seen perching on large boulders or any suitable platform, and diving to pick up exposed animals on the seashore. It has also been observed to search for prey on the seashore during low tide.26

Distribution and habitat
The white-collared kingfisher is widely distributed geographically, over a distance of 16,000 km from East Africa on the coast of the Red Sea to the Middle East, across the Indian subcontinent and through Southeast Asia, and southwards to Papua New Guinea, northern Australia and the Samoan islands.27 There are over 50 subspecies over this range, with the subspecies humii being extant in Southeast Asia.28


In Singapore, the white-collared kingfisher is a resident breeder.29 Its bold and noisy behavior, and raucous calls, make its presence known. Its main habitats are mangrove and coastal areas such as Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve,30 and it has been seen on offshore islands such as Pulau Tekong , Pulau Ubin,31  St John’s IslandSentosa,32 Pulau SenangPulau Pawai  and Pulau Sudong.33 It is also frequently seen and heard in parks and gardens.34
 

Variant names
English: Collared kingfisher;35 Mangrove kingfisher36

Malay: Pekaka Bakau;37 Pĕkaka; Burong Raja Udang38



Author
Eunice Low



References
1. Lim, K. S., & Chew, J. (2010). A field guide to the birds of SingaporeSingapore: Nature Society, p. 2. (Call no.: RSING 598.095957 LIM); Lim, K. S. (1999). Pocket checklist of the birds of the Republic of Singapore. Singapore: Nature Society (Singapore), Bird Group Records Committee, p. 23. Available via PublicationSG; Whyte, E. (2009, October 20). Kings of their kingdomThe Straits Times, p. 84. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
2. Wells, D. R. (1999). The birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsula: Covering Burma and Thailand south of the eleventh parallel, Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore: Vol. 1, Non-passerines. San Diego, California: Academic Press, p. 515. (Call no.: RSING 598.0959 WEL)
3. Board of Commissioners of Currency, Singapore (1994). Singapore Money BookSingapore: Moneyworld Asia, pp. 27, 30. (Call no.: RSING 769.5595957 SIN)
4. Bird-series Cash Cards, new coin set launched. (2001, July 20). The Straits Times, p. 5. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Wee, Y. C., Tan, W. K., & Wang, L. K. (2011). One for the birds: Singapore stamps & money. Singapore: Tan Wee Kiat, p. 41. (Call no.: RSING 769.5695957 WEE)
5. Wee, Y. C., Tan, W. K., & Wang, L. K. (2011). One for the birds: Singapore stamps & money. Singapore: Tan Wee Kiat, p. 41. (Call no.: RSING 769.5695957 WEE); Singapore Postage Stamps Catalogue (3rd ed.). (2011). Singapore: CS Philatelic Agency, p. 50. (Call no.: RSING 769.5695957 SPSC)
6. Page 11 Advertisements Column 1. (2000, August 11). The Straits Times, p. 11. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Singapore Postage Stamps Catalogue (3rd ed.). (2011). Singapore: CS Philatelic Agency, p. 99. (Call no.: RSING 769.5695957 SPSC)
7. Singapore Postage Stamps Catalogue (3rd ed.). (2011). Singapore: CS Philatelic Agency, p. 133. (Call no.: RSING 769.5695957 SPSC); Wee, Y. C., Tan, W. K., & Wang, L. K. (2011). One for the birds: Singapore stamps & money. Singapore: Tan Wee Kiat, p. 41. (Call no.: RSING 769.5695957 WEE); Singapore Post. (2011, April 12). Discover the ecological diversity in a pond in the new low value definitive stamp [Press release]. Retrieved 2017, March 3 from Singapore Post website: http://www.singpost.com/about-us/news-releases/discover-ecological-diversity-pond-new-low-value-definitive-stamp
8. Singapore Post. (2012, June 27). Gardens by the Bay Set to bloom on Stamps [Press release]. Retrieved 2019, August 6 from Singapore Post website: http://www.singpost.com/about-us/news-releases/gardens-bay-set-bloom-stamps
9. Wells, D. R. (1999). The birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsula: Covering Burma and Thailand south of the eleventh parallel, Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore: Vol. 1, Non-passerines. San Diego, California: Academic Press, p. 514. (Call no.: RSING 598.0959 WEL); Madoc, G. C. (1947). An introduction to Malayan birds. Kuala Lumpur: Malayan Nature, p. 96. (Call no.: RCLOS 598.29595 MAD-[GBH]); Yong, D. L., & Lim, K. C. (2016). A naturalist’s guide to the birds of Singapore. England: John Beaufoy Publishing, p. 97. (Call no.: RSING 598.095957 YON); Tweedie, M. W. F. (1970). Common birds of the Malay Peninsula. Kuala Lumpur: Longman Malaysia, p. 28. (Call no.: RSEA 598.29595 TWE)
10. Fry, C. H. (1992). Kingfishers, bee-eaters & rollers: A handbook. London: Christopher Helm, p. 175. (Call no.: R 598.892 FRY); Lim, K. S., & Chew, J. (2010). A field guide to the birds of SingaporeSingapore: Nature Society, p. 2. (Call no.: RSING 598.095957 LIM); Yong, D. L., & Lim, K. C. (2016). A naturalist’s guide to the birds of Singapore. England: John Beaufoy Publishing, p. 97. (Call no.: RSING 598.095957 YON)
11. Wells, D. R. (1999). The birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsula: Covering Burma and Thailand south of the eleventh parallel, Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore: Vol. 1, Non-passerines. San Diego, California: Academic Press, p. 515. (Call no.: RSING 598.0959 WEL); Glenister, A. G. (1971). The birds of the Malay Peninsula, Singapore and Penang. Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press, p. 164. (Call no.: RSING 598.29595 GLE–[RFL])
12. Fry, C. H. (1992). Kingfishers, bee-eaters & rollers: A handbook. London: Christopher Helm, p. 181. (Call no.: R 598.892 FRY)
13. Fry, C. H. (1992). Kingfishers, bee-eaters & rollers: A handbook. London: Christopher Helm, p. 175. (Call no.: R 598.892 FRY); Tweedie, M. W. F. (1970). Common birds of the Malay Peninsula. Kuala Lumpur: Longman Malaysia, p. 28. (Call no.: RSEA 598.29595 TWE); Ali Salim. (1996). The book of Indian birds. Bombay: Bombay Natural History Society, p. 198. (Call no.: R 598.2954 ALI)
14. Fry, C. H. (1992). Kingfishers, bee-eaters & rollers: A handbook. London: Christopher Helm, p. 180. (Call no.: R 598.892 FRY); Wells, D. R. (1999). The birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsula: Covering Burma and Thailand south of the eleventh parallel, Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore: Vol. 1, Non-passerines. San Diego, California: Academic Press, p. 516. (Call no.: RSING 598.0959 WEL)
15. Robinson, H. C., et al. (1976). The birds of the Malay Peninsula: A general account of the birds inhabiting the region from the Isthmus of Kra to Singapore with the adjacent islands. London: H. F. & G. Witherby, p. 220. (Call no.: RSING 598.29595 ROB); Nesting habits of the White-collared Kingfisher (Halcyon chloris humii Sharpe). (1931). Bulletin of the Raffles Museum Singapore, Straits Settlements, 5, 121 [Microfilm no.: NL 6548]. Government Printing Office; Madoc, G. C. (1947). An introduction to Malayan birds. Kuala Lumpur: Malayan Nature, p. 96. (Call no.: RCLOS 598.29595 MAD-[GBH]); Ali Salim. (1996). The book of Indian birds. Bombay: Bombay Natural History Society, p. 198. (Call no.: R 598.2954 ALI)
16. Lim, K. S. (2009). The avifauna of Singapore. Singapore: Nature Society (Singapore) & Bird Group Records Committee, p. 77. (Call no.: RSING 598.095957 LIM); Moyle, R. G. (2006, April). A molecular phylogeny of Kingfishers (Alcedinidae) with insights into early biogeographic history. (Phylogénie Moléculaire des Alcedinidae avec un Aperçu de l'Histoire Biogéographique Ancienne). The Auk, 123(2), 487–499. American Ornithological Society, p. 489. Retrieved from JSTOR via NLB’s eResources website: http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/
17. Wells, D. R. (1999). The birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsula: Covering Burma and Thailand south of the eleventh parallel, Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore: Vol. 1, Non-passerines. San Diego, California: Academic Press, p. 516. (Call no.: RSING 598.0959 WEL); Robinson, H. C., et al. (1976). The birds of the Malay Peninsula: A general account of the birds inhabiting the region from the Isthmus of Kra to Singapore with the adjacent islands. London: H. F. & G. Witherby, p. 220. (Call no.: RSING 598.29595 ROB)
18. Tweedie, M. W. F. (1970). Common birds of the Malay Peninsula. Kuala Lumpur: Longman Malaysia, p. 28. (Call no.: RSEA 598.29595 TWE); Hails, C. (2018). Birds of Singapore. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish Editions, p. 104. (Call no.: RSING 598.295957 HAI); Lim, K. S. (2009). The avifauna of Singapore. Singapore: Nature Society (Singapore) & Bird Group Records Committee, p. 77. (Call no.: RSING 598.095957 LIM)
19. Fry, C. H. (1992). Kingfishers, bee-eaters & rollers: A handbook. London: Christopher Helm, p. 180. (Call no.: R 598.892 FRY); Nesting habits of the White-collared Kingfisher (Halcyon chloris humii Sharpe) [Microfilm no.: NL 6548]. (1931)  Bulletin of the Raffles Museum Singapore, Straits Settlements5, 121. Government Printing Office; Wells, D. R. (1999). The birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsula: Covering Burma and Thailand south of the eleventh parallel, Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore: Vol. 1, Non-passerines. San Diego, California: Academic Press, p. 516. (Call no.: RSING 598.0959 WEL); Madoc, G. C. (1947). An introduction to Malayan birds. Kuala Lumpur: Malayan Nature, p. 96. (Call no.: RCLOS 598.29595 MAD-[GBH])
20. Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum. (2019). Todiramphus chloris. Retrieved 2019, August 1 from Lee Kong Chian Natural History Musuem website: http://lkcnhm.nus.edu.sg/dna/organisms/details/5
21. Wells, D. R. (1999). The birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsula: Covering Burma and Thailand south of the eleventh parallel, Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore: Vol. 1, Non-passerines. San Diego, California: Academic Press, p. 516. (Call no.: RSING 598.0959 WEL); Madoc, G. C. (1947). An introduction to Malayan birds. Kuala Lumpur: Malayan Nature, p. 96. (Call no.: RCLOS 598.29595 MAD-[GBH]); Smythies, B. E. (1981). The birds of Borneo. Kota Kinabalu, Sabah; Kuala Lumpur: Sabah Society; Malayan Nature Society, pp. 203–204. (Call no.: RSEA 598.295983 SMY)
22. Smythies, B. E. (1981). The birds of Borneo. Kota Kinabalu, Sabah; Kuala Lumpur: Sabah Society; Malayan Nature Society, p. 203. (Call no.: RSEA 598.295983 SMY)
23. Fry, C. H. (1992). Kingfishers, bee-eaters & rollers: A handbook. London: Christopher Helm, p. 175. (Call no.: R 598.892 FRY); Hails, C. (2018). Birds of Singapore. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish Editions, p. 104. (Call no.: RSING 598.295957 HAI); Wells, D. R. (1999). The birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsula: Covering Burma and Thailand south of the eleventh parallel, Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore: Vol. 1, Non-passerines. San Diego, California: Academic Press, p. 515. (Call no.: RSING 598.0959 WEL)
24. Wells, D. R. (1999). The birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsula: Covering Burma and Thailand south of the eleventh parallel, Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore: Vol. 1, Non-passerines. San Diego, California: Academic Press, p. 515. (Call no.: RSING 598.0959 WEL)
25. Wells, D. R. (1999). The birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsula: Covering Burma and Thailand south of the eleventh parallel, Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore: Vol. 1, Non-passerines. San Diego, California: Academic Press, p. 516. (Call no.: RSING 598.0959 WEL); Whyte. E. (2009, October 20). Kings of their kingdomThe Straits Times, p. 84. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Smythies, B. E. (1981). The birds of Borneo. Kota Kinabalu, Sabah; Kuala Lumpur: Sabah Society; Malayan Nature Society, p. 203. (Call no.: RSEA 598.295983 SMY)
26. Madoc, G. C. (1947). An introduction to Malayan birds. Kuala Lumpur: Malayan Nature, p. 96. (Call no.: RCLOS 598.29595 MAD-[GBH]); Hails, C. (2018). Birds of Singapore. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish Editions, p. 104. (Call no.: RSING 598.295957 HAI)
27. Wells, D. R. (1999). The birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsula: Covering Burma and Thailand south of the eleventh parallel, Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore: Vol. 1, Non-passerines. San Diego, California: Academic Press, p. 514. (Call no.: RSING 598.0959 WEL); Yong, D. L., & Lim, K. C. (2016). A naturalist’s guide to the birds of Singapore. England: John Beaufoy Publishing, p. 97. (Call no.: RSING 598.095957 YON)
28. Fry, C. H. (1992). Kingfishers, bee-eaters & rollers: A handbook. London: Christopher Helm, p. 175. (Call no.: R 598.892 FRY)
29. Yong, D. L., & Lim, K. C. (2016). A naturalist’s guide to the birds of Singapore. England: John Beaufoy Publishing, p. 97. (Call no.: RSING 598.095957 YON); Lim, K. S. (1999). Pocket checklist of the birds of the Republic of Singapore. Singapore: Nature Society (Singapore), Bird Group Records Committee, p. 23. Available via PublicationSG; Whyte. E. (2009, October 20). Kings of their kingdomThe Straits Times, p. 84. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
30. The William Farquhar collection of natural history drawings. (1999). Singapore: Goh Geok Khim, p. 222. (Call no.: RSING q759.959 WIL); Madoc, G. C. (1947). An introduction to Malayan birds. Kuala Lumpur: Malayan Nature, p. 96. (Call no.: RCLOS 598.29595 MAD-[GBH]); Lim, K. S., & Chew, J. (2010). A field guide to the birds of SingaporeSingapore: Nature Society, p. 2. (Call no.: RSING 598.095957 LIM); Yong, D. L., & Lim, K. C. (2016). A naturalist’s guide to the birds of Singapore. England: John Beaufoy Publishing, p. 97. (Call no.: RSING 598.095957 YON); National Parks Board (2018). Birds of Our Wetlands: A Journey through Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve. Singapore: National Parks Board, p. 84. (Call no.: RSING 779.328095957 BIR)
31. Tay, S. C. (2007, July 8). Chek Jawa’s backThe Straits Times, p. 51. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
32. Hails, C. (2018). Birds of Singapore. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish Editions, p. 104. (Call no.: RSING 598.295957 HAI)
33. Wells, D. R. (1999). The birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsula: Covering Burma and Thailand south of the eleventh parallel, Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore: Vol. 1, Non-passerines. San Diego, California: Academic Press, p. 515. (Call no.: RSING 598.0959 WEL); Lim, K. S. (2009).The avifauna of Singapore. Singapore: Nature Society (Singapore) & Bird Group Records Committee, p. 77. (Call no.: RSING 598.095957 LIM)
34. Lim, K. S., & Chew, J. (2010). A field guide to the birds of SingaporeSingapore: Nature Society, p. 2. (Call no.: RSING 598.095957 LIM); Yong, D. L., & Lim, K. C. (2016). A naturalist’s guide to the birds of Singapore. England: John Beaufoy Publishing, p. 97. (Call no.: RSING 598.095957 YON); Lee, T. K., & Lim, K. C. (2010). Birds in a garden city: a compendium of photographic work. Singapore: Photographic Society of Singapore, (Call no.: 779.328092 LEE)
35. Fry, C. H. (1992). Kingfishers, bee-eaters & rollers: A handbook. London: Christopher Helm, p. 175. (Call no.: R 598.892 FRY); Lim, K. S., & Chew, J. (2010). A field guide to the birds of SingaporeSingapore: Nature Society, p. 2. (Call no.: RSING 598.095957 LIM)
36. Moyle, R. G. (2006, April). A molecular phylogeny of Kingfishers (Alcedinidae) with insights into early biogeographic history. (Phylogénie Moléculaire des Alcedinidae avec un Aperçu de l'Histoire Biogéographique Ancienne). The Auk, 123(2), 487–499. American Ornithological Society, p. 489. Retrieved from JSTOR via NLB’s eResources website: http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/; Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum. (2019). Todiramphus chloris. Retrieved 2019, August 1 from Lee Kong Chian Natural History Musuem website: http://lkcnhm.nus.edu.sg/dna/organisms/details/5
37. The William Farquhar collection of natural history drawings. (1999). Singapore: Goh Geok Khim, p. 222. (Call no.: RSING q759.959 WIL); Wells, D. R. (1999). The birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsula: Covering Burma and Thailand south of the eleventh parallel, Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore: Vol. 1, Non-passerines. San Diego, California: Academic Press, p. 514. (Call no.: RSING 598.0959 WEL); Yong, D. L., & Lim, K. C. (2016). A naturalist’s guide to the birds of Singapore. England: John Beaufoy Publishing, p. 97. (Call no.: RSING 598.095957 YON); Lim, K. S. (1999).Pocket checklist of the birds of the Republic of Singapore. Singapore: Nature Society (Singapore), Bird Group Records Committee, p. 23. Available via PublicationSG.
38. Madoc, G. C. (1947). An introduction to Malayan birds. Kuala Lumpur: Malayan Nature, p. 96. (Call no.: RCLOS 598.29595 MAD-[GBH]); Tweedie, M. W. F. (1970). Common birds of the Malay Peninsula. Kuala Lumpur: Longman Malaysia, p. 28. (Call no.: RSEA 598.29595 TWE); Kruspe, N., & Zainal, A. (2010). A dictionary of Mah Meri as spoken at Bukit Bangkong. Oceanic linguistics special publications, 36, Iii–410. University of Hawaii Press, p. 119. Retrieved from JSTOR via NLB’s eResources website: http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/


Further resources
Robson, C. (2015). Birds of South-East Asia (2nd ed.). London, Christopher Helm, p. 379. (RSING 598.0959 ROB)

Wang, L. K. & Hails, C. J. (2007, April 30). An Annotated Checklist of the Birds of Singapore. The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, 2007 (Suppl. 15). Retrieved 2019, August 1 from Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum website: https://lkcnhm.nus.edu.sg/app/uploads/2017/04/s15rbz001-179.pdf



The information in this article is valid as at August 2019 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.

 

Subject
Birds in numismatics
Wildlife
Nature>>Animals
Science and technology>>Zoology>>Birds
Kingfishers--Singapore