Size(28-30cm): It is a small water kingfisher with the size almost the same as that of the White Breasted Kingfisher.
Area: All India till 2100-2200m in Himalayas.
Habitat: Ponds, lakes, riversides and streams.
My two words: It is a common Kingfisher of India which has a black and white plumage. They have a short black crest and the male has a double black band across the throat while the female has a single broken band. Upper parts are barred with black and the supercilium is white.
Unlike other Kingfishers, Pied Kingfishers are gregarious.
Their habit of hovering over lakes and other water bodies, in search of fish, and diving vertically upside-down ( bill first) makes them special. They usually hover over water and only dive when the prey is in striking range. They can eat their prey mid-flight without returning to perch which is required by other Kingfishers. This is also a special characteristic of Pied Kingfisher.
(Female Pied Kingfisher ready to pounce on the prey-Hovering Shot)
Pied Kingfisher is a speedy Kingfisher with a straight flight when not searching for food.
The breeding season is roughly from late January till about April. They lay 3-5 eggs in their hole-like nest. Usually many Pied Kingfishers nest in the same neighborhood.
They mostly feed on fish but other small aquatic animals may be eaten sometimes.
They are always found in vicinity of water.