Blue Eared Kingfisher Singapore

I managed to photograph this kingfisher at a pretty bad lighting (as usual under the forest canopy). This elusive fella is just about the size of your clenched fist!
I had to go back to the same spot for about a month on and off just for this shot! I sat behind my camera for an entire day with minimal movement, food and water, waiting for the kingfisher to perch on the exact branch I was already pointing at.

I definitely would not be able to get this close, or even photograph it, if I was not patient enough. I have seen/experienced many times that wild kingfishers (especially those that are restricted to lowland forest) are extremely skittish at a relatively great distance. As I was already there before the kingfisher came, the kingfisher ‘accepted’ me as part of the environment, therefore it did not fly away. Of course, I still had to keep my body movements slow and minimal.

I was able to have a few good minutes photographing it on the tip of this ‘perfect unobstructed perch’, which is a broken palm end. When it comes to this perch, it means business, to hunt/dive, and get back to it’s hideout.

I seldom get catch lights on my subject’s eye and this is 1 of the reasons I chose this photograph out of the whole lot. Pose, angle, background, catchlights, details of the beautiful blue jewel of the forest..perfect for me!

Photographed with Nikon D300, Sigma 300-800mm EX DG HSM (Sigmonster), Gitzo 2330 @

800mm (35mm equivalent 1200mm), ISO320, 1/13th sec, F7.1, Mirror Lock up.

Subject distance: 7.79 meters

Click on Photo for larger resolution.

Blue Eared Kingfisher