Lightning fast and technicoloured, seeing a kingfisher always feels special. Spot them near rivers, diving low to catch tiny fish with impressive dexterity. The kingfisher is a small bird with unmistakable plumage. Its back is bright metallic blue and its breast is a coppery-brown. The beak is long and black, though females have a red patch at the base. With a wingspan of 25cm and body length of 16cm, a kingfisher is only slightly larger than a robin, although it is nearly twice as heavy.

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Acknowledgements: Extract taken from The Wildlife Trust

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Blink and you may miss the fantastic kingfisher! This beautiful bird is easy to recognise thanks to its bright blue and metallic copper colours. It darts along the riverbank or sits patiently on a low branch over the water waiting for its next meal to swim by.

Statistics

Length: 15-17cm
Wingspan: 25cm
Weight: 40g
Average lifespan: 2 years

Conservation status

Classified in the UK as Amber under the Birds of Conservation Concern 4: the Red List for Birds (2015). Protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981.

About

The bright blue kingfisher is a colourful bird of rivers and streams. It can be spotted sitting quietly on low-hanging branches over the water, suddenly diving in to catch a small fish. Kingfishers live in burrow-like nests near lakes and other waterways, choosing a perfect spot for fishing!

How to identify

The striking mix of its bright-blue back and metallic copper breast make the kingfisher unmistakable. Males have an entirely black bill, females have an orangey-red patch at the base.

Distribution

Widespread, but absent from northern Scotland.

Images by CRUSH Photography©

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Acknowledgements: Extract taken from The Wildlife Trusts

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The Common Kingfisher is a small unmistakable bright blue and orange bird of slow moving or still water. The Common Kingfisher flies rapidly, low over water, and hunt fish from riverside perches, occasionally hovering above the water’s surface. They are vulnerable to hard winters and habitat degradation through pollution or unsympathetic management of watercourses. Kingfishers are amber listed because of their unfavourable conservation status in Europe. They are also listed as a Schedule 1 species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act offering them additional protection. (Extract from RSPB)

Images by CRUSH Photography©

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Kingfisher - Images by CRUSH Photography©

The female is identical in appearance to the male except that her lower mandible is orange-red with a black tip.

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Acknowledgements: Extract taken from Wikipedia

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