Giant Kingfisher

I love to see kingfishers when I am on my travels and have so far seen a few, from the colourful Pygmy Kingfisher to this, the Giant Kingfisher, Megaceryle maxima. I just find them fascinating to watch as they perch, or hover in the case of the Pied Kingfisher, to search out their prey before dramatically plunging into the water. And they do often come away with some remarkably large fish which they tend to batter into submission on the branches of trees.

The Giant Kingfisher is a resident breeding bird in most of sub-Saharan Africa and is the largest kingfisher found on the continent, growing up to 46cm (18 inches) in length.

Giant Kingfisher

The male has a chestnut breast band and white underparts, while the female has a white-spotted black breast band and a chestnut belly. Their main diet consists of crabs, fish, and frogs.

Giant Kingfisher with fish

Home is a tunnel dug into the side of the riverbank and is usually around 2 metres in length.

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