A water kingfisher and is found widely distributed across Africa and Asia. Their black and white plumage, crest and the habit of hovering over clear lakes and rivers before diving for fish makes it distinctive. Males have a double band across the breast while females have a single gorget that is often broken in the middle. They are usually found in pairs or small family parties. When perched, they often bob their head and flick up their tail.
It is common throughout sub-Saharan Africa and southern Asia from Turkey to India to China. It is resident, and most birds do not migrate, other than short-distance seasonal movements
This species was initially believed to be descended from an ancestral American green kingfisher which crossed the Atlantic Ocean about 1 million years ago. A more recent suggestion is that the Pied Kingfisher and the American green kingfishers are derived from an Old World species, with the Pied Kingfisher or its ancestor losing the metallic colouration afterwards.
Lat: -23.27, Long: 30.99
Spotted on Nov 4, 2011
Submitted on Aug 11, 2012
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