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Toothed kingfisher normal

Normal coloration.

Toothed kingfisher breeding

Breeding coloration.

The toothed kingfisher, Halcyonova aquatica, is a semiaquatic tree kingfisher that is frequently found along the watercourses of the tropical forest swamps of Australia.
Toothed kingfisher

The toothed kingfisher is not a swimming bird in the usual sense. It uses its wings rather than its feet (a method that is particularly successful under water).

The bill of the kingfisher is strongly serrated with tooth-like points that help it to spear fish. Although it cannot fly as well as its ancestors, nor can it hover or dive as they did, it has become adept at "underwater flight", pursuing its prey in their own medium. After catching a fish, the kingfisher brings it to the surface and gulps it into its throat pouch before taking it back to the nest.

As a signal to the opposite sex, the toothed kingfisher's beak changes color early in the breeding season.

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