Kingfisher Metabolism. By: Haim Ziv

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I'm not a scientist, and what you are reading here are my impressions and observations.

Most of a Kingfisher's day is spent flying low over shallow waters and diving into them, in order to fish.  The action begins early in the morning, before sunrise, when there isn't enough light yet to shoot.

It is interesting to discover that the Kingfisher possesses keen eyesight, even at twilightwhen it is able to successfully catch a fish with nearly every dive.

 

 

The amount of fish that a Kingfisher is able to eat is relative to its size, and is quite incredible.

Sometimes the bird swallows the fish whole, while in flight, while at other times, it perches on a branch and, with quick movements of its head, brings the head of the fish to the opening of its throat, ready to be swallowed. All this, of course, depends upon the size of the fish.

 

 

In relation to the amount of food it is able to ingest

the Kingfisher's digestive system digests the fish rather quickly.

 

 

The Kingfisher's excretory functions work like those of most other animals, even while it is in midflight.

The fish itself is digested in the intestine of the Kingfisher; however, not completely.

The bones are not digested in a natural manner, but rather, discarded in the form of a white mass, through a vomiting process called “Barf Time”.

The vomiting process takes roughly 50 seconds from when it opens the Kingfisher’s throat,

while the bird is perched on a branch.  In the pictures, it is possible to see this process.

 

 

 

Thank you for interest in reading this article.

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