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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