Kingfishers are small unmistakable bright blue and orange birds of slow moving or still water. They fly rapidly, low over water, and hunt fish from riverside perches, occasionally hovering above the water's surface.
They 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.
There are about 90 species of kingfisher worldwide. All have large heads, long, sharp, pointed bills, short legs, and stubby tails. They are able to see well both in air and under water while swimming. Their eyes also have evolved an egg-shaped lens able to focus in the two different environments.
The diet is mainly freshwater fish, also aquatic invertebrates. The hungry brood of a Kingfisher can demand over 100 fish a day from their parents.
Rivers, marshes, lakes, seacoasts
Status in UK
Conservation Status UK
Number in Britain
Number of broods
1 or 2
Age at First Breeding
Maximum Recorded Age
4 years, 6 months