Tony Keene Tony Keene where I'm based
      Australian Birds
      Japanese Birds
      New Zealand Birds
      Swiss Birds
      British Birds
      Birds Elsewhere
      Hybrid Birds
      Escaped Birds
      Taxonomic list
      Australian Mammals   New!
      Australian Reptiles
      Australian Frogs
 Trip Reports
 Translation guide
All images are subject to copyright (unless otherwise stated) and may not be used or reproduced without permission.

Common Kingfisher
Alcedo atthis

One of the most well-known and easily-recognisable birds in the UK, the Kingfisher is an occasional sight along rivers, either perched and watching for tiny fish or flying along the middle of the water calling. They can also be found on lakes, ponds and at the coast. Their range extands from the UK through to Papua New Guinea in a belt including North Africa and Indonesia in the southern range through to China and Russia in the north, although birds in the northern and southernmost limits tend to be migratory. They are small birds, roughly the same size as a House Sparrow at 16 cm in length, but with a short tail. Kingfishers catch their prey by diving into water and catching fish, which they kill by clubbing against a rock or branch and turn head-first to swallow so that the scales do not become lodged on the way down. The call is usually a high-pitch 'peep peep', usually given in flight. Males have an all-black bill while females (as pictured here) have an orange lower mandible.

Common Kingfisher

1: Riverside Park, Southampton, 07/12/2013.