Family ALCEDINIDAE

Bill long, stout, pointed, with a rounded or slightly flattened culmen; tarsus and toes feeble ; the fourth or outer toe united to the third for more than half its length, third and second united tor basal third.

Primaries 11, the first minute. Tail-feathers 12 (except in Tanysiptera, which has 10).

All Kingfishers lay white, glossy, rather round eggs, very like those of Bee-eaters, almost always in a chamber without lining, dug by the birds in the earth at the end of a burrow from 6 inches to several feet in length. There is sometimes, but rarely, a layer of fish-bones on which the eggs are deposited.

This family is generally divided into two subfamilies, but as Dr. Bowdler Sharpe, to whom we are indebted for an excellent monograph of the Kingfishers, has shown, the distinction between the two is not well marked.

Key to the Genera.

a. Plumage (of Indian species) black and white………………………….CERYLE, p. 119.
b. Plumage varied, not black and white.
a1. Tail shorter than culmen.
a2. Toes 4 ………………………….ALCEDO, p. 122.
b2. Toes 3 ………………………….CEYX, p. 127.
b1. Tail longer than culmen,
c2. Sexes alike.
a3. Bill red.
a4.. Bill compressed, culmen flattened, with a groove on each side ………………………….PELARGOPSIS, p. 128.
b4. Bill not compressed, culmen rounded.
a5. Primaries white at base………………………….HALCYON, p. 131.
b5. No white on primaries………………………….CALLIALCYON, p. 134.
b3. Bill black ………………………….SAUROPATIS, p. 135.
d2. Sexes dissimilar; bill somewhat depressed.
c3. Bill black above ; plumage not barred. ………………………….CARIDAGRUS, p. 138.
d3. Bill red throughout; plumage barred………………………….CARCINEUTES, p. 138.

BookTitle: 
The Fauna Of British India including Ceylon and Burma
Reference: 
Blanford, William Thomas, ed. The Fauna of British India: Including Ceylon and Burma. Vol.3 1895.
Title in Book: 
Family ALCEDINIDAE
Book Author: 
William Thomas Blanford
Year: 
1895
Page No: 
118
M_ID: 
8996
M_SN: 
Alcedinidae
Volume: 
Vol. 3
Term name: 
id: 
1425

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