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Javan Kingfisher

Halcyon cyanoventris

This Kingfisher is endemic to the islands of Bali and Java, and is not found anywhere else. It is quite large, about the size of the South-East Asian Stork-billed Kingfisher. Again, I draw my knowledge of this beautiful bird and how it derived its classic Latin and Greek scientific name from renowned nature author Victor Mason in his book Birds of Bali, "First we have the generic or group name which defines the bird's affinity with other members of its group or genus, and then the specific name which serves to identify the bird precisely. In this case 'cyanoventris' (from Greek kuanos, dark blue,and venter, ventris Latin for belly), and 'Halcyon' (from Greek hals, the sea, and kyon, conceiving) which is an old poetic term for kingfisher. The ancients believed the birds to be a model of constancy and affection, and if the male bird lost its mate, it would choose to remain forever solitary rather than pair again. They also supposed that the birds conceived and built their nests on the sea which remained calm while the female was brooding and bringing forth her young: hence the expression, halcyon days, which are calm and happy days - kingfisher days."

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