This is the Northern Indigo-banded Kingfisher, a small Blue-orange Kingfisher endemic to the Philippines. The Subic Aeta tribe calls the Northern Indigo-banded Kingfisher “Talakiwan.” The tribe refers to the Talakiwan as a guardian bird that signals the community when something is crossing the stream.

I stumbled upon this individual in a small stream within the protected forests of Subic Bay. I noticed that some of the rocks had markings of bird poop, which indicated that this area was undoubtedly the territory of a Kingfisher. Low and behold, a sudden Northern Indigo-banded Kingfisher darted by my side and perched on top of the rocks. I took my time with the Kingfisher as it was pretty unfazed with my presence along the stream. Considering that my previous encounters with the Talakiwan only garnered me docu shots, I took the time to fill up my card with the Subic Superboy in front of me.

The experience of watching the Talakiwan hunting was simply stunning. Coming from two previous sorties set in Pangasinan, I was extremely grateful that I had the opportunity to photograph the Talakiwan in Subic on my third encounter.

Photographed by Vinz Pascua

Ceyx cyanopectus
IUCN Red List: Least Concern
DENR Red List: Other Threatened Species (OTS)
Philippine Endemic (Luzon, Mindoro, Lubang, Catanduanes, Marinduque, Masbate, Polillo, Sibuyan, Ticao)

Subic Bay Rainforests, January 2022

Canon EOS R5 + Canon Mount Adapter EF-EOS R + Canon EF 600mm F/4L IS II USM + Canon EF 1.4x II Extender
Wimberley WH-200 Head + Gitzo GT2545T Tripod
ISO 10000, f/8, 1/500, Manual Mode, Spot Metering

Vinz Pascua

Wildlife Photographer, Graphic Designer, and Digital Artist for Haring Ibon. He’s also an active member of the Wild Bird Photographers of the Philippines (WBPP) since 2020. 

Visit for his photography, art, and design works. 

Haring Ibon has partnered with Optisan Optics to be the official distributor of their world-class binoculars and spotting scopes in the Philippines. Although relatively newly established, their optics have already made an impact overseas, partnering with the likes of the Raptor Research Group of Taiwan, Wild Bird Society of Taipei, The Society of Canton Nature Conservation, and the Guangxi Biodiversity Research and Conservation Association.

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