Kingfishers are brightly colored birds that live in deep forests near calm ponds and small rivers. They hunt by swooping down on their prey.
They are expert fishermen, which is why they were given their name. They live in burrows near streams and lakes and fly over the water to catch fish.
The plumage of most kingfishers is bright, with green and blue being the most common colors. The brightness is caused by the scattering of blue light.
Kingfisher Facts for Kids
- kingfishers live for about 15 years
- They eat minnows, sticklebacks, and large insects in the water.
- The Kingfisher is 16cm long and weighs 40 grams.
- They can fly up to 25 miles per hour
- Their beaks are hard like daggers used to spearfish.
Where do Kingfishers Live
They are cosmopolitan in their distribution, occurring throughout the world’s tropical and temperate regions. In Europe and North America, north of Mexico, they are poorly represented, with only two species in each region.
The common kingfisher ranges across Europe, North Africa, and Asia as far as the Solomon Islands, but the Kofiau paradise kingfisher is restricted to a single island.
Kingfishers occupy a wide range of habitats. Many live in forests and streams, in the driest deserts, and in human-modified habitats.
What do Kingfishers Eat
Kingfishers catch and eat a wide variety of prey, including crustaceans, frogs and amphibians, mollusks, insects, centipedes, reptiles, and even birds and mammals. They usually hunt from perches and beat prey on a perch to kill it and dislodge protective spines and bones.
The Kingfisher is territorial and monogamous, nesting in holes dug in the ground in river banks, lakes, or man-made ditches. They may nest in trees, earth clinging to the roots of uprooted trees or arboreal nests of termites.
The eggs of kingfishers are white, and the clutch size varies by species, but typically three to six eggs per clutch are laid.