'Azure Kingfisher' (Ceyx azureus)
Pencil on Canson Paper
Framed in sustainably sourced Tasmanian Oak with non reflective art glass
image size 25x25cm - frame size 38x40cm
The Azure Kingfisher is found across northern and eastern Australia, the Kimberley region of Western Australia, the Top End to Queensland, and is widespread east of the Great Dividing Range in Victoria, and along some major rivers of the Murray–Darling Basin. The Azure Kingfisher is never far from water, preferring freshwater rivers and creeks as well as billabongs, lakes, swamps and dams, usually in shady overhanging vegetation. It is sometimes seen in parks on rivers, as well as duck or goldfish ponds in urban areas.
The Azure Kingfisher plunges from overhanging perches into water to catch prey. Prey items include: fish, crustaceans, aquatic insects and other invertebrates, and, sometimes, frogs. They will often bash their prey against the perch before swallowing it head first. They often watch Platypuses foraging underwater and catch any food items that are disturbed.
Azure Kingfishers form monogamous pairs that defend a breeding territory. Both parents incubate and feed the chicks. The nest is at the end of a burrow dug out of soil in a riverbank. The tunnel slopes upwards to the nesting chamber and can be 80 cm - 130 cm long. Flooding can destroy low-lying burrows.
Listed as Endangered in Tasmania. :-(
(info from birdlife.org.au)