By Alexander Greensmith
THE AMAZING moment a ten-inch-tall kingfisher flips a mouse in the air like a pancake before downing it in one has been captured on camera.
Stunning photos showed the male three-and-a-half-year-old white-throated kingfisher as it held the half-ounce rodent hostage within its colourful beak.
Another image captured the two-and-a-half-ounce bird tossing the mouse in the air before gobbling it whole.
The colourful photos were taken in the back garden of insurance worker, Sourav Das (29), from Howrah, Dasnagar, India. He used a Canon 600D with a Tamron 150-600 G2 lens, and was 12 feet away from the action.
“It tosses to catch it properly in a way it can swallow in-full, with the help of neck movements,” said Sourav.
“The mouse was very tiny; so, it could not bear the pressure of the strong beak of kingfisher. It was about to die or already dead at the moment of the toss.
“Observing the hunting behaviour of kingfisher, I have noticed that they are very calm & focused on their target. It almost looks like they are relaxing.”
On average, kingfishers live for up to five years. In the 19th century the birds were hunted for their bright feathers to decorate hats, but today they are currently of least concern to extinction researchers.