woensdag 5 december 2012

Kingfisher





Unmistakable due to their bright colouring, Kingfishers are notoriously difficult to spot because of their secretive and wary nature. Rapid flyers, they can most commonly be found near undisturbed shallow streams of water where they will hunt for their freshwater prey. There are over 90 species of Kingfisher which can be found all over the world. Although they are less common in the northern parts of the United Kingdom, they are more widespread in central and southern England. They have been known to visit garden ponds if they are of an appropriate size.

Description: A small and plump bird, the Kingfisher is similar in size to a house sparrow and has a long dagger-like bill and relatively large head. The two sexes are very similar in their markings with the exception of the bill which is black for the male with a reddish base for the female. Adult Kingfishers have a green crown, nape and wings with a bight blue back and tail. The under parts and cheeks are orange, with the throat and collar being white, their legs and feet are coral red. Juvenile Kingfishers lack the brilliance of the adults and tend to have a bluish-grey breast and legs and feet which are a dull orange. The Kingfisher has a shrill whistling call and is similar to a Starling’s bubbling whistle.

Feeding: Fresh water fish constitute a large part of the Kingfishers diet, especially minnows and sticklebacks. They will also feed on aquatic insects and occasionally crustaceans and tadpoles. When catching its prey the Kingfisher will perch on a branch over or by the stream where it can locate a suitable target and assess the depth of the water. Diving down into the water, the Kingfisher will be effectively blindfolded as it opens it beak to catch its prey. It will then return to its perch where it will swallow the fish whole.
[source: gardenbird.co.uk]

Thank you very much Daisuke!


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