The National Museum of Bohol is featuring a beautiful species of bird, the Roufus-Lored Kingfisher (Todiramphus winchelli), also known as the Winchell’s Kingfisher.
About 90 species of kingfishers occur worldwide, usually in tropical areas. At least 10 species have been observed in the Philippines.
Collectively called Tingkarol or Tingkarow to Boholanos, 7 of these are considered endemic including the Winchell’s Kingfisher or Rufous-lored Kingfisher.
Four subspecies of the Rufous-lored Kingfisher exist, namely:
Todiramphus winchelli winchelli (found in Basilan),
Todiramphus winchelli nesydrionetes (found in Romblon, Sibuyan and Tablas),
Todiramphus winchelli mindanensis (found in Mindanao) and
Todiramphus nigrorum (found in Bohol, Cebu, Negros, Samar, Siquijor, Leyte and Biliran).
Roufus-lored Kingfishers are short-tailed and sport the characteristic long, pointed bills to easily peck on small vertebrates such as lizards, frogs and fishes. They also feed on insects.
This species of kingfishers generally have black-colored crowns, wings and backs, overlaid with blue. Adult males have white underparts, while juvenile males and females have varying amounts of washed buff to orange underparts. They are distinguished for their loud and harsh calls, usually heard in the early mornings. These birds are monogamous and territorial.
They nest in the holes of trees particularly in termite affected areas, with both parents working together incubating their eggs and later on feeding their chicks.
The Roufus-lored Kingfisher inhabit coastal lowland sites and inland foothills. It is believed to prefer forest on limestone or large trees, most are largely confined to limestone areas. Listed Vulnerable (VU) by the IUCN with its population assessed to be decreasing, deforestation is a threat to these species of kingfishers.
Clearing of forests for the planting of commercially viable exotic trees such as oil-palms could have devastating effects to the Roufus-lored Kingfisher as well as to other endemic and native species in the affected areas.
In Bohol, the Rajah Sikatuna National Park is a key site in bird and wildlife conservation yet even this protected landscape is threatened with illegal logging.