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Common Kingfisher

Alcedo atthis


Bridge across the river. Countryside.


This sparrow-sized bird has the typical short-tailed, large-headed kingfisher profile; it has blue-green upperparts, orange underparts and a long bill. It feeds mainly on fish, caught by diving, and has special visual adaptations to enable it to see prey under water. The glossy white eggs are laid in a nest at the end of a burrow in a riverbank. The flight of the Kingfisher is fast, direct and usually low over water. The short rounded wings whirr rapidly, and a bird flying away shows an electric-blue "flash" down its back. The Common Kingfisher has no song. The flight call is a short sharp whistle, chee, repeated two or three times. Anxious birds emit a harsh, shrit-it-it and nestlings call for food with a churring noise. Common Kingfishers are solitary and highly territorial because they have to eat about 60% of their body weight a day. They fiercely defend their feeding grounds. The Common Kingfisher is widely distributed over Europe, Asia, and North Africa, mainly south of 60°N.

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Deepti S
Deepti S 5 years ago

Thanks Hema!

Hema 5 years ago

lovely colors on the bird.

Deepti S
Spotted by
Deepti S

Karnataka, India

Spotted on Jan 18, 2015
Submitted on Mar 13, 2015

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