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Friday, 6 January 2017

The King of Fishers

Size and Colour

Common Kingfishers measure 17 – 19 centimetres in length, weigh between 34 – 46 grams and have a wingspan of 25 centimetres. Their beak is around 4 centimetres long and pointed. Kingfishers have short, orange coloured legs.

Lens Standard 300mm Tamron non-stabilised lens

                   YWT Adel Dam LNR

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Kingfishers have very keen eyesight. The kingfisher has monocular vision (in which each eye is used separately) in the air and binocular vision (in which both eyes are used together) in water. The underwater vision is not as a sharp as in the air, however, the ability to judge the distance of moving prey is more important than the sharpness of the image.

Where To see Them

Kingfishers are found by still or slow flowing water such as lakes, canals and rivers in lowland areas. In winter, some individuals move to estuaries and the coast. Occasionally they may visit garden ponds if of a suitable size. They can be seen all year round. Cromwell Bottom is an ideal location for theses birds with a unique comnbination of the River Calder, Canals and Lagoons

General Facts

Kingfishers 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. It is estimated there are 3,800-4,600 breeding pairs in the UK

Many young kingfishers die within days of fledging, their first dives leaving them waterlogged so they end up drowning.Because of the high mortality of young, kingfishers usually have two or three broods a year, with as many as 10 in a brood.

This image catches the Kingfisher just as it expresses in the  afternoon during its preening ritual
 the white liquid faeces is forcably ejeted in a dramatic fashion seen ejected just behind this bird

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Preening Ritual 

Kingfishers live in burrows which are often insanitary therefore a good preening regime is essential in keeping feathers clean and in working condition

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Like all small birds the Kingfisher remains wary of  overhead activity to avoid presation by raptors

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The common kingfisher hunts from a perch 1–2 m (3.3–6.6 ft) above the water, on a branch, post or riverbank, bill pointing down as it searches for prey. It bobs its head when food is detected to gauge the distance, and plunges steeply down to seize its prey usually no deeper than 25 cm (9.8 in) below the surface

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Like all kingfishers, the common kingfisher is highly territorial; since it must eat around 60% of its body weight each day, it is essential to have control of a suitable stretch of river. It is solitary for most of the year, roosting alone in heavy cover. If another kingfisher enters its territory, both birds display from perches, and fights may occur, where a bird will grab the other's beak and try to hold it under water. Pairs form in the autumn but each bird retains a separate territory, generally at least 1 km (0.62 mi) long, but up to 3.5 km (2.2 mi) and territories are not merged until the spring.

The courtship is initiated by the male chasing the female while calling continually, and later by ritual feeding, mating usually following.

More Videos On The Kingfisher

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