Meet the Sacreds!

Meet the Sacreds!

It was just a week ago that the Sacred Kingfisher babies left the nest, full of confidence and with surprisingly good flight control. They've fledged earlier than in most years, and also look younger than the new fledglings we've seen in the past.

And they are simply ridiculously cute!

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Their tails are tiny and their heads still spiky with unopened feather quills. Perhaps their parents gave them a nudge, keen to try for a second clutch this year after taking advantage of the bumper cicada feast. Time will tell.

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In the meantime, the two babies continue to be very demanding. Their raspy, begging calls are a constant chord amid the forest chorus. 

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And it's not just cicadas that the kingfishers feed on. Much of their prey is taken from the ground, the birds swooping in at speed, landing, stabbing, seizing, and then flying back to a perch to dispatch their meal.

 Baby food! This photo was taken 2 weeks ago, while the babies were still in the nest. In the few minutes I was watching on, the parent bird delivered 2 skinks to the high tree hollow.

Baby food! This photo was taken 2 weeks ago, while the babies were still in the nest. In the few minutes I was watching on, the parent bird delivered 2 skinks to the high tree hollow.

And remember those sand wasps I was stalking a couple of weeks ago? The ones building burrows in the ground and dragging in paralysed prey? Well, it seems that they're fair game for the Kingfishers too.

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Over the coming weeks we'll no doubt see the babies starting to hunt for themselves. Sometimes I wonder that we see any insects at all - it seems that everyone is out to eat them!