Behavior and energy budgets of Belted Kingfishers in winter

Belted Kingfisher (Ceryle alcyon) Science Article 2


I recorded behaviors and estimated energy intake and expenditures of 16 Belted Kingfishers (Ceryle alcyon) during January and February 1994. Each bird was watched for an entire day to examine the relationships among temperature, time of day, and foraging behavior. Estimates of total daily energy intake and expenditure differed by only 2.8 -+ 42.9KJ/d (1% of total). The relatively large amount of variation in this difference may indicate that kingfishers are balancing their energy budgets on time scales longer than a single day or may simply reflect the coarseness of the methods used to derive these estimates. There was a significant decline in energy expenditure through the day, due largely to a decrease in the cost of thermoregulation. There was, however, no significant variation in energy intake among times of day. Mean daily temperature was not correlated with the total daily energy balance (intake minus expenditure) of individuals. Perching, flying, and foraging behaviors of Belted Kingfishers varied by time of day. In general, Belted Kingfishers were more active in the afternoon than in the morning. In summary, these observations indicate that there are predictable diel patterns in the foraging behaviors of Belted Kingfishers, that the energy intake resulting from these behaviors is variable, and this variability in energy intake is not correlated with daily temperature.

Jeffrey F. Kelly, J. Field Ornithol., 69(1):75-84

Download article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *