It’s always a treat to see these beautiful birds, whether you are a birder of not. There are 10 species of Kingfishers in Southern Africa and they are small to medium sized and are usually bright in colour. They have large heads, long, sharp, pointed bills, short legs, and stubby tails – it’s hard to believe they are so good at catching fish! Kingfishers are speedy and direct when in flight, which helps with catching their next meal.
When hunting for fish, they swoop down from a perch and plunge headfirst into the water, then they return to a perch to kill and eat their prey. Not all Kingfishers “fish”, some eat invertebrates like frogs, insects, lizards and even rodents.
Most species of Kingfishers are monogamous (one male and one female pair up), although cooperative breeding has been observed in some species and is quite common in others, for example the laughing kookaburra, where helpers aid the dominant breeding pair in raising the young.
They enjoy well-wooded areas and are usually found around still or slow flowing water (perhaps why they love Fairview so much) and normally sleep in a tunnel or hole. You may even spot them in your garden as they have adapted well to the changes in their surroundings. If you want to know how you can attract Kingfishers into your garden you can follow some of these steps: How To Attract Kingfishers
A Striped Kingfisher recently flew into Scott’s (our Mac Farmers) glass doors and knocked himself out for a bit, then luckily regained consciousness again. We managed to snap some pictures of this magnificent bird before he flew off again in pursuit of some juicy grasshoppers I am sure.