Blue-breasted Kingfisher

The Blue-breasted Kingfisher, Halcyon malimbica, is widely distributed across Equatorial Africa. This kingfisher is essentially resident, but retreats from drier savanna areas to wetter habitats, such as mangrove swamps, in the dry season.

Lovely birds and not particularly shy around humans.

Blue-breasted Kingfisher

This is a fairly large kingfisher at around 25 cm in length. The adult has a bright blue head, back, wing panel and tail and its underparts are white with a blue breast band. The shoulders are black. It has a large bill with a red upper mandible and black lower mandible. The legs are bright red. Sexes are similar, but juveniles are duller than adults.

Blue-breasted Kingfisher, The Gambia

The Blue-breasted Kingfisher perches quietly in deep shade whilst seeking food and is an adept hunter, relying on its keen eyesight to spot prey in the water below. It feeds primarily on small fish, crabs, and other aquatic creatures, and is known for its swift and accurate dives into the water to catch its prey.

The nest is a hole in a tree termite nest. The female typically lays a single clutch of two round white eggs.

Blue-breasted Kingfisher, perched