Here are some of the most significant kingfisher facts that are not known elsewhere. This article includes kingfisher diet, habitat, behavior and its widespread distribution. Kingfisher is a group of colored birds that belongs to the Coraciiformes order. Both small and medium-sized birds befall under this group. Most of these species are widely distributed across Old World in Australia. Sometimes, a group may be tinned as a single family or a suborder Alcedines comprising three families namely tree kingfishers, water kingfisher, and river kingfishers.
There are more than 90 kingfisher species. All these birds exhibit greater head, short legs, and stubby tails. These birds have a vivid plumage with little diversification among species. Not many of these kingfishers are known to reside in the tropical forests. These birds tend to feed on fish which they grasp by swooping down from a perch. In general, kingfishers dig down the whole to make their natural habitats where they roost.
- The smallest of these species weigh around 10.4 grams and 10 cm (4 inches), while the weight of the largest kingfisher measures at 355 grams (13.5 Oz) or 45 cm (18 inches). This is called Giant Kingfisher.
- Laughing Kookaburra is considered to be the heaviest of all species with the weight measuring at 450 g (1 lb).
- They have a vivid plumage with the dominance of green and blue colors.
- Kingfishers have a lengthy sharp bill that makes it perfectly adaptable for hunting fish and other prey off the ground.
- Shovel-billed Kookaburra has got the most powerful bill amongst all the species in that it is capable to dig a floor with it.
- Relatively speaking, these colorful birds have shorter legs and have longer tarsi.
- The irises exhibit dark brownish color.
- They have an exceptional sight.
- Kingfishers do not move their eyes to pursue their prey or watch out other predators, they realign their head instead.
- These species are strong territorial birds in that they tend to defend their territory actively against incomers.
- The clutch size comprises 2 glossy eggs. However, the numbers may go up to 10 sometimes. The average clutch size is around 3 to 6 eggs. Both males and females contribute towards the incubation process.
Where Do Kingfishers Live
These types of birds are the residents of tropical and temperate regions, exhibiting a cosmopolitan distribution. Kingfishers do not inhabit in the Polar Regions and in the desert areas. Most of these birds are the inhabitants of east Pacific Ocean and the Old World in Australasia. Quite a few numbers of these individuals dwell in the Europe, North America and the northern Mexico.
Wintering Belted Kingfisher widely exists all throughout South America. Some of these species such as common kingfisher inhabits in Ireland, Asia, Europe and North Africa while extending towards Solomon Islands in Australasia.
Piled kingfisher is known to reside in Asia and Africa. Other birds are restricted to few islands. While these birds are frequently linked with the rivers and lakes, most of these species inhabits in the forested streams and forests. Some even occupy wide range of Sahara deserts, open woodlands, high altitudes, and tropical coral atolls. Number of kingfishers that are accustomed to live in proximity to the human population, are known to reside in agricultural areas.
What Do Kingfishers Eat
Kingfishers predominantly feed on numerous items. Their diet comprises frogs, annelid, spiders, insects, centipedes, amphibians, crustaceans, worms, molluscs, fish, reptiles, snakes, mammals and birds. Woodland kingfishers primarily rely on insects, grasshoppers and fish, in particular.