The Kingfisher – King of the Fisher’s or not?
King of the Fishers………….Or are they?
Leopard Mountain’s Walking Safari’s guide Darrel Camden Smith tells us a little bit more about the Kingfisher family.
Not all Kingfishers are fishermen. Those that are though are very accomplished fisherman. Those that don’t fish feed on a variety of insects, arachnids and small vertebrates; however no matter what their diet Kingfishers are in fact highly skilled and efficient at hunting.
Some interesting Kingfisher facts ….
- Kingfishers have 87 different species around the world with probably the most famous one the Kookaburra from Australia.
- Kingfishers are mostly migrants especially in areas where the water freezes.
- There are 10 species of Kingfisher in South Africa. 6 of them are not exclusive fisherman even though they may often be found near water.
- After hunting a Kingfisher will return to its perch to kill or stun its pray before swallowing it whole.
- Kingfishers live in burrows that both male and female birds will help to burrow. The fisherman burrows can often leave a stench when they move along with all the left over rotting fish in the burrow.
- Some Kingfishers hunt from a perch before swooping down to catch their prey and others hover like a helicopter whilst hunting before swooping down on their prey in a death-defying dive
One thing that is common among all Kingfisher’s is that they all have very colorful plumage. When in flight there are often beautiful flashes of ochre and aquamarine from the beautiful Pygmy Kingfisher. The blue’s and oranges of other kingfisher’s will also leave you in awe. Even the dull looking kingfisher’s like the Striped Kingfisher flash electric blue colors when they fly off that are normally well hidden under their wings.