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Pied Kingfisher

Ceryle rudis


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.

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Smith'sZoo 11 years ago

Thank you Cecilia, Johan, ArgyBee and Aakash!

Johan Heyns
Johan Heyns 11 years ago

Nice series!!!

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 11 years ago

Super series.

JivaniAakash 11 years ago

I also spotted a Pied Kingfisher two days back in India

Atul 11 years ago

Awesome series !!!

Smith'sZoo 11 years ago

Thank you all for comments! Angel Starlet (pretty name) we where about 20m from the Kingfisher on a low water bridge in the Kruger National Park. My husband spotted him and went closer slowly. Luckily he was busy with lunch, so he stayed long enough for us to take some awesome pics!

Angel Starlet
Angel Starlet 11 years ago

Wow amazing how did u get those pics

TMetcalf 11 years ago

Beautiful kingfisher!

rutasandinas 11 years ago

Espectacular gran disparo :::

ToshimiDowaki 11 years ago

Great spotting!

ChunXingWong 11 years ago

Both it's appearance and eating habits are magnificent.

Wild Things
Wild Things 11 years ago

Fantastic series!

Harsha Singh
Harsha Singh 11 years ago


Great series!

Smith Zoo
Spotted by
Smith Zoo

Limpopo, South Africa

Spotted on Nov 4, 2011
Submitted on Aug 11, 2012

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