Kingfisher

Scientific name: Alcedo atthis

Did you know: Kingfishers, with their dazzling plumage and unique hunting style, are a symbol of luck and prosperity in many cultures around the world.

What Do Kingfishers Look Like? (how to identify them)

Kingfishers are small to medium-sized birds, renowned for their vivid colours. They typically have large heads, sharp bills perfect for fishing, short legs, and compact tails. 

Most species display bright plumage, predominantly in hues of blue and green, with subtle sexual dimorphism.

Differences Between Male And Female Kingfishers

In most Kingfisher species, males and females look very similar, with only slight differences in size or colour intensity. Males often possess slightly brighter plumage compared to their female counterparts.

What Do Kingfishers Eat?

Despite their name, not all Kingfishers primarily feed on fish. Their diet varies from fish, crustaceans, and amphibians to insects and small invertebrates, depending on their habitat.

Where Do Kingfishers Live? (inc. migration info)

Kingfishers inhabit a wide range of environments, from deep forests near calm ponds and rivers to urban and suburban areas. 

While some species migrate in response to seasonal changes, others remain in the same area year-round.

Bird Calls & Songs (the unique voices of Kingfishers)

Kingfishers are known for their distinctive calls, often a series of sharp, high-pitched whistles. Their vocalisations vary among species but are generally used for communication, especially during the mating season.

Fun Kingfisher Facts (kid friendly)

  • Kingfishers have excellent vision, including the ability to see ultraviolet light.
  • They are excellent divers, plunging into water for fish.
  • Some Kingfishers can hammer into termite nests for nesting.
  • They can be found on every continent except Antarctica.
  • The giant Kingfisher is the largest in Africa, weighing up to 426 grams.
  • Kingfishers’ bright colours come from the structure of their feathers, not pigmentation.
  • They nest in cavities, often digging tunnels in riverbanks.
  • Their fast, direct flight makes them a spectacular sight near water bodies.
  • Kingfishers are a symbol of peace and prosperity in many cultures.
  • They have special membranes to protect their eyes when they dive into water.

Kingfisher Images

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Male
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Female
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Hatchling
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Nestling
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Chick
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Fledgling
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Juvenile

Facts About The Kingfisher

Diet: Fish and aquatic insects.
Bird Family: Kingfishers
Length: 16-17cm
Wingspan: 24-26cm
Weight: 34-46g
Scientific Name: Alcedo atthis

The Kingfisher Can Be Seen In The UK During The Following Months

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December