The kingfisher - profile


Surname: Kingfisher
Latin name: Alcedo atthis
class: Birds
size: 13 - 16cm
mass: 30 - 40g
Older: 7 - 10 years
Appearance: bluish plumage
Sexual dimorphism: Yes
Nutrition type: predominantly fish-eater (piscivor)
food: Amphibians, fish, insects, mollusks
distribution: Asia, Europe, North Africa
Sleep-wake rhythm: diurnal
habitat: standing and slowly flowing waters
natural enemies: Birds of prey
sexual maturity: ?
mating season: March
breeding season: 18 - 21 days
clutch size: 3 - 7 eggs
social behavior: Loners
Threatened with extinction: Yes
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.

Interesting facts about the kingfisher

  • The kingfisher belongs to the group of the actual kingfishers, which comprises a total of about ninety species worldwide. Common to all kingfishers is the bright and colorful plumage that shines in different colors depending on the light.
  • The kingfisher, which is native to Central and Northern Europe, Asia and North Africa, appears stout and has a long beak and a relatively short tail.
  • Depending on its range, the kingfisher is a migratory or standing bird. For example, Scandinavian-style specimens migrate to their North African winter quarters in the cold season.
  • The kingfisher lives exclusively in close proximity to clear, stagnant or only slowly flowing waters with a high stock of small fish, which serve him as the main food source. Thus, the kingfisher is found on both clean and natural rivers and streams, as well as on man-made canals and ponds and lakes.
  • In addition to fish, the kingfisher also feeds on aquatic insects, small crabs, larvae, frogs and snails. He captures these by the characteristic plunge diving, in which he rushes headlong and in a slightly inclined path into the water within a few seconds and then grabs her directly under the water surface.
  • Kingfishers can spy their prey over long distances and use the water surface like a magnifying glass. This allows them to easily gauge the distance their victim moves in the water and their perfect fit predatory dive.
  • To eat his prey fish, which are sometimes ten centimeters long, the kingfisher settles on a branch and shakes it until it stops moving.
  • Kingfishers are only about sixteen inches long and reach a maximum body weight of forty grams. However, the wing span can be up to 25 centimeters in adult specimens.
  • Particularly striking in the case of kingfishers are the greenish or turquoise-blue, iridescent back and head with azure blue spots, as well as the bright orange belly and facial spots.
  • Kingfishers are strictly monogamous and spend much of their lives in tight mating, with males often breeding with two females at the same time.
  • The female lays the eggs in a self-dug nesting nest in loamy, poorly rooted ground. The cave is usually located on the shore in close proximity to the water and can be up to two meters long, with some species has been reported by more than eight meters deep nesting sites.
  • Depending on the species, the juveniles are able to reach the surface from the breeding cavity after just a few days or a few weeks and to search for food independently.
  • Kingfishers have an average life expectancy of up to ten years, depending on the species.