|י 312) שלדג גמדי|
. ברב אזורי תפוצתו זה השלדג הקטן ביותר
. צבעיו הססגוניים מבליטים את גבו הכחול-ירוק וחזהו הערמוני
. ראשו מפוספס בפסי תכלת, בהמשך עינו פס ערמוני ההופך ללבן בעורפו
. קשתית העין חומה, המקור שחור, הסנטר לבן, הגוף קטן ומוצק
. הרגל קצרה ובצבע כתום-אדום. זנבו קצר
. לנקבה הלסת התחתונה חומה אדמדמה
, בית גידולו, מקורות מים עומדים או זורמים לאיטם עטורים בצמחיה
. עשירים בדגים קטנים שהם עיקר מזונו
. בארץ עובר אורח שכיח בעיקר בצפון ומערב הארץ, מבקר חורף שכיח פחות בצפון הארץ
Subspecies and Distribution.
A. p. brehmorum W Palearctic from Portugal E to Turkey and from Morocco to NW Egypt including Canary and Mdeira Ia. Winters in Sahel.
A. a. ispida S Norway, British Is and Spain E to W Russia and Romania. Winters S to S Portogal, N Africa, Cyprus and Iraq.
A. a. atthis NW Africa and S and E Spain E to Bulgaria, Afghanistan, NW India, C Siberia and NW China. Winters S to Egypt, NE Sudan, Oman and Pakistan.
A. a. bengalensis C India E to SE Asia, S and E China, SE Siberia, E Mongolia and Japan. Winters S to Greater Sundas, N Sulawesi, Sula Is, N Moluccas and Philippines.
A. a. taprobana India S of R Godavari, and Sri Lanka.
A. a. floresiana Bali and Lesser Sundas E to Wetar and Timor.
A. a. hispidoides Sulawesi, Moluccas and W Papuan Is, and coastal E New Guinea and Louisiade and Bismarck Archipelagos.
A. a. salomonensis Solomon Is.םםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםם םםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםםם
The smallest of the kingfishers to be found in most of its range, has a long bill, and is blue-green above and orange below. 15-16 cm, 19-26 g, wingspan 23-25 cm.
The flash of iridescent blue as this Kingfisher flies along a river is an exciting experience. Male nominate race rufous loral spot, black eyestripe, rufous ear coverts, white neckstripe.
Crown and malarstripe barred blue and black. Upperparts and tail brilliant azure-blue, wings dark greenish-blue with paler blue spots. White chin and throat, rufous underparts. Bill black, gape red, iris dark brown, legs and feet orange red.
Distinguished from similar small Alcedo species by rufous ear coverts. Female like male, but lower mandible orange-red with black tip.
Race bengalensis smaller, brighter and ispida slightly larger, bluer crown, darker rufous underparts.
Race taprobanasimilar in size to previous, but upperparts bright blue, and floresiana darker blues on uppperparts, some blue feathers on rufous ear coverts.
Race hispidoides ear coverts blue, purple tinges on hindneck and rump and salomonensis ear coverts blue, more extensive purple-blue upperparts.
Habitat. Usually still or gently flowing water with plentiful small fish, and with reeds, rushes or shrubs on the banks for perches, are essential aspects of the habitat.
Small rivers, streams, canals and ditches preferred to open waterbodies, but sometimes uses lakes, ponds and flooded gravel pits. In winter becomes more coastal, frequenting also estuaries, and rocky seashores.
Food and Feeding.
Main diet based on fish, include roach, trout, roach grayling, barbel, carp and many other species. Also takes aquatic insects, also flies, butterflies, amphibians, crayfish, prawns, shrimps and isopods in winter. Very occasionally feeds on berries and stems of reed.
Perches for long periods, usually 1-2 m above the water, periodically turning around and bobbing head and body to gauge distance when food sighted. Dives steeply and catches prey below water to maximum depth of 1 m. Using its buoyancy and flapping the wings.
Breeding. Mar-Jul in Britain, May in Sweden, Mar-May in Morocco and Iraq, Mar-Jun in India, Mar-Aug in Japan and in Jan in Papua.
Monogamous, solitary breeder. Territories defended by calling in flight and by displaying from perch, where sits quietly, crouches and stretches, swaying body from side to side, bill agape and wings drooping, before chasing off and intruder.
Nest usually in sandy, stone-free streamside bank, quarry, sandpit, peat catting or earth bank, occasionally in hole in wall, rotten tree stump. Both sexes excavate, taking 1-2 weeks, tunnel straight usually 50-100 cm long. 6-7 eggs, both sexes incubate during day, but only female at night, incubating period 19-21 days.
N populations, in areas where freezing conditions in winter, regularly migrate S, generally staying within species' breeding range. Populations in C Europe migrate in sever winters, and S populations are mainly sedentary.
Distance moved varies, up to 250 km in Britain, to 3000 km in Russia. Non-breeding birds present in N Africa Sep-Apr and in Sudan Oct-Mar. In Hokkaido, birds depart in Sep and return late Apr.
Migrates mainly at night, and pronounced movements evident along Mediterranean shores and over Malaysian mountains in autumn, during migration may form small flocks.
Status and Conservation.
Not globally threatened. widely distributed and common in many regions, population in Europe estimated to be 100.000 paiers.
In Israel subspecies A. a. atthis. Very common passage migrant in western and northern parts, uncommon winter visitor in northern and rare summer visitor.