In the glistening waters of the rivers and streams, there is a magnificent creature that is admired by all who catch a glimpse of its striking colors and swift movements. This bird is none other than the common kingfisher, a small yet mighty predator that rules the waterways with its sharp beak and keen eyesight.
With feathers painted in a brilliant palette of blue and orange, the common kingfisher is a sight to behold. Its sleek body is adorned with iridescent hues that shimmer in the sunlight, while its wings are as swift as a summer breeze. With a long, pointed beak that could pierce through the toughest of fish scales, this bird is a skilled hunter that never fails to impress.
|1||Common Name||Common Kingfisher|
|2||Scientific Name||Alcedo atthis|
|3||Colour||Bright blue and orange with white underparts|
|4||Average Length (cm)||17|
|5||Average Height (cm)||10|
|6||Type of Bird||Water bird|
|7||Found in India in States||Throughout India except for high altitude regions|
|8||Habitat||Rivers, streams, lakes, and coastal areas with clear water|
The common kingfisher, also known as the Eurasian kingfisher or river kingfisher, is a small but striking bird with a distinctive appearance. With a height of around 17cm (6.7in) and a length of about 23cm (9.1in), it is a compact bird that is perfectly adapted for its aquatic lifestyle.
One of the most striking features of the common kingfisher is its vibrant plumage. The upperparts of its body are a bright and iridescent blue, while its underparts are a warm orangey-brown. These colors are separated by a distinctive white collar around its neck, which adds to its overall striking appearance.
The common kingfisher has a relatively large head in proportion to its body, with a short neck and a straight, pointed bill. Its bill is well-adapted for catching fish, with a sharp tip that can easily pierce through the scales of its prey. Its eyes are large and dark, providing excellent vision for spotting fish in the water below.
Its wings are relatively short and rounded, which helps it to maneuver quickly and accurately through the air and water. Its legs are short but sturdy, with strong, sharp claws that allow it to grip onto branches and rocks as it hunts.
Habitat and Food
The common kingfisher is a bird that is perfectly adapted to life near rivers and streams, where it can hunt for its primary source of food: fish. These birds are found throughout Europe, Asia, and North Africa, and can also be found in parts of Australia and New Zealand.
In terms of habitat, the common kingfisher prefers to live near fast-flowing, shallow rivers and streams, as well as near the edges of ponds, lakes, and other bodies of water. They are also known to inhabit estuaries and tidal mudflats, where they can hunt for fish during low tide.
When it comes to eating habits, itis a skilled hunter that relies primarily on fish for its diet. Using its sharp eyesight, it will perch on a branch or rock near the water’s edge and patiently wait for a fish to swim by. Once it spots its prey, it will dive into the water with incredible speed, using its pointed bill to catch the fish before returning to its perch to consume it.
In addition to fish, the common kingfisher may also eat other small aquatic creatures such as crustaceans, mollusks, and insects. However, fish make up the majority of its diet.
Nesting and Nurturing
The common kingfisher is known for its striking appearance and impressive hunting skills, but it also has some interesting nesting habits. These birds typically mate for life and will return to the same nesting site year after year to breed.
The common kingfisher lays a clutch of 6-7 white eggs, which are laid in a nest that is constructed from soil or sand. The nest is typically located in a hole in a riverbank or near the edge of a body of water, which provides easy access to food for the adult birds and their young.
The eggs of the common kingfisher are typically white, with a glossy sheen that helps to protect them from damage. The female bird will incubate the eggs for around 20 days, during which time the male bird will bring her food and help to defend the nest from potential predators.
Once the eggs hatch, the baby kingfishers are born blind and featherless, and are completely dependent on their parents for food and care. The parents will take turns feeding the young birds, bringing them small fish and other aquatic creatures that they catch in nearby streams or rivers.
As the baby kingfishers grow, they will develop feathers and begin to venture out of the nest, learning to fly and hunt for themselves. The parents will continue to care for their young for several weeks after they leave the nest, teaching them how to hunt and survive in the wild.
The common kingfisher, also known as the Eurasian kingfisher or river kingfisher, is classified as a species of “Least Concern” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). This is a relatively good conservation status, indicating that the species is not currently considered to be at high risk of extinction.
However, like many species of birds, the common kingfisher is facing threats from habitat loss and degradation, pollution, and changes to water quality. These factors can impact the availability of food and nesting sites, and can ultimately affect the survival of the species.
In some areas, conservation efforts are being made to protect the habitats of the common kingfisher and promote their continued survival. This includes initiatives such as habitat restoration, protection of nesting sites, and monitoring of water quality in rivers and streams.
However, habitat loss and fragmentation due to human activities such as deforestation, urbanization, and agriculture are potential threats to the Indian Pitta’s survival. The species is also hunted for its feathers and meat in some parts of its range.