Forest Kingfisher at Wallacia?

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Subject: Forest Kingfisher at Wallacia?
From: "alan morris" <>
Date: Sun, 22 Jan 2006 12:46:58 +1100
Hi Birders,

Evan Beaver claimed to have seen a Forest Kingfisher at Wallacia, SW of Sydney on 21/1/06. However he did not say how he identified it as a Forest Kingfisher. The regular southern limit for Forest Kingfishers in NSW is about the Manning River(Taree area), with occasional sightings further south, the most recent being 29/11/1998 at Hurstville Grove.

However many people mis-identify Forest Kingfishers, not understanding that as the feathers wear on the front of the Sacred Kingfisher post breeding (from all the movement in and out of the nesting holes, the orange tips of the breast feathers wear off). The breast feathers of Sacred Kingfishgers is basically white but with orange tips thus giving the Sacred Kingfisher, when it arrives in Eastern Australia in spring in its new plumage of a yellow/orange breast colour. As the feathers wear they lose the orange and expose the rest of the white feather giving the bird a white-breasted look, which togetrher with the blue wings, makes a male Sacred Kingfisher in particular (the females tend to be more greenish), look similar to a Forest Kingfisher.

The main diagnostic feature that easily seperates a Forest Kingfisher and a Sacred Kingfisher under those circumstances are the white dollar marks in the underwing, seen easily when the bird flies, just like a Dollarbird.

Alan Morris
Records Officer, Birding NSW
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