Lifescapes Gallery

24 / Aug / 2011
Yet Another Fishermans Tale
Common Kingfisher, Coorg
Sudhir Shivaram

Yet Another Fishermans Tale

Most of us landlubbers, would love the idea of slipping into our trunks and plunging into a pristine pool as an appetite-building precursor to a sumptuous meal. Some of our neighbours, however, like the Common Kingfisher of Coorg, have the habit of dressing for dinner before taking the plunge. The smallest of his species found in Coorg, the Common Kingfisher is an avid fisherman who hunts for his meal in a way uniquely his own. If you see him sitting on a perch or hovering mid-air above the water, and bobbing his head up and down, it means he’s caught sight of a particularly tasty morsel swimming towards its ultimate destiny. The next instant, karma catches up with the poor fish, as the hunter dives beak-first into the water, opening his wings as he goes under. His eyes are protected by a transparent third eyelid membrane and his unique underwater ‘binocular vision’ helps him in accurately gauging the distance to his prey. Having seized his meal, he shoots out of the water to his perch, where he holds the fish by its tail and beats it into submission before swallowing it head-first. One would think that after a satisfying meal, the Kingfisher would happily break into song. But unfortunately he’s never taken music classes and makes do with a decidedly unmelodious chee-chee-chee, which we hope isn’t indicative of the taste of his lunch. Considering that this territorial bird must eat at least sixty percent of his body weight every day, an active Kingfisher population is an indicator of the health of the freshwater community and the standard of the water. His solitary existence is, however, not conducive to increasing the population, and on occasion, he goes courting by calling out to a comely lass and then chasing her till he catches up, whereupon he proceeds to feed her, thus proving that the way to a woman’s heart is also through her stomach.

We at Orange County have loved sharing this story with you, and shall bring you one every fortnight, as part of our Responsible Tourism Initiatives to raise awareness about the nature and culture of the environments we operate in.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 24th, 2011 at 12:22 pm and is filed under Birds . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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User Comments
  1. Vinay Singh says:


  2. Syed Vaseemuddin says:

    Mr.Mallya is very lucky to have these colours as a brand on him.

  3. mahendra parmar says:

    these nature birds are the backbone of Human life on this earth. please conserve for our future generations to live.

  4. Nyla Sohm says:

    This is a very newsworthy writing! I am so excited I found your site. Keep up the great work. Have a fantastic day!how to get a USA mailing address

  5. Sameer R. Rao says:

    Sheer joy to see this vivid image

  6. Murthy Murthy says:

    It was an amazing picture!

  7. Vikram Nanjappa says:

    The Common Kingfisher is highly territorial; since it must eat around 60% of its body weight each day, it is essential to have control a suitable stretch of river and if and when another kingfisher enters its territory, both birds will display from perches, and if that does not settle the dispute then fights may occur. One bird will grab the other’s beak and try to hold it under water.

  8. Ajit K Huilgol says:

    Always a treat to see Sudhir’s images, and this one is no exception.

  9. Ashwini Patil says:

    Simply Gorgeous and fun read!!! Thank you team for all your efforts taken day & night to bring us such lovely mailers with the best of articles & photo’s…! I am sure everyone who get’s them would be glad to read them….. at least I am thoroughly joyed at all fortnights like these…!!!

  10. Mohan says:

    Lovely story. Enjoyed every bit of this.

  11. a.k. nagaraja says:

    fantastic .crystal clear clarity . Is it possible give camera model & spec pl.

    • Sudhir Shivaram says:

      Dear Nagaraja,:

      It’s with Canon EF 500mm f/4 L IS lens + 1.4x Converter on Canon 30D camera. ISO 200, f8 @ 1/200, Evaluative Metering + 1/3 Stop, Aperture Priority.


  12. Harisankar Kurup says:

    Excellent narrative backed up by an outstanding image of the protagonist!!!!

  13. Mrs Rika Dubois says:

    I enjoye every time the beautiful pictures of the nature that everybody has to respect.
    Rika from Belgium

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