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Azure kingfisher
Alcedo azurea - Julatten.jpg
Azure kingfisher (Alcedo azurea)
Conservation status
Scientific classification
A. azurea
Binomial name
Alcedo azurea
Latham, 1801
Azure Kingfisher -closeup - showing lores
Azure kingfisher

The azure kingfisher (Alcedo azurea) is a small kingfisher (17–19 centimetres, 6.7–7.5 inches), in the river kingfisher family, Alcedinidae. It lives in parts of Australia and Tasmania, as well as New Guinea and some nearby islands, and out to North Maluku and Romang.

It is a very colourful bird, with deep blue to azure back, a large white to buff spot on side of neck and throat, rufous-buff with some blue-violet streaks on breast and flanks. The feet are red with only two forward toes. The lores (the region between the eye and the bill) are white and inconspicuous except in front view, where they stand out as two large white eye-like spots which may have a role in warding off potential predators.

The azure kingfisher lives at the side of bodies of water such as creeks, lakes, swamps, tidal estuaries and mangroves. It can dive quickly from a perch above water. It feeds on freshwater crayfish and small fish. It builds its nest in a chamber up to 1 meter long in a creek bank. 5–7 white, round eggs. Its call is a high-pitched, 'pseet-pseet'.

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