rufous backed kingfisher

photo: Andy_LYT

Habitat: Brunei, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand
Status: Least Concern

This gorgeous bird is called the Rufous-backed Kingfisher (Ceyx rufidorsa), a tiny species of kingfisher that doesn’t let its small stature get in the way of its hunting its favorite foods.

These birds grow to be around 5 1/2 inches in length and when held by a human you can see just how small these guys are in comparison.

You’d think that these tiny birdies would go after prey their own size (or smaller) but actually, that’s not the case. They’re solitary hunters who stake out a single branch that typically overhangs a pool of water. There they will sit and wait until something wanders on by, whether it be a snake, lizard, crab, or what have you. Then, in the blink of an eye, the Rufous-backed Kingfisher swoops down and snatches up its meal.


As you can see, they have no problem going after prey that can be twice the size of their bodies! This is definitely a case when your eyes are bigger than your stomach.