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Pied Kingfisher

    This is the Pied Kingfisher, Ceryle rudis, a species of water kingfisher noted for the way it hovers above the water before diving down to catch its prey.

    Pied Kingfisher, Ceryle rudis

    Males have a double black band across the breast, females have a single gorget (a patch of colour on the throat of a bird or other animal).

    Pied Kingfisher, flight

    It is a common, resident bird found throughout sub-Saharan Africa and southern Asia from Turkey to India and China.

    Pied Kingfisher, perched, with fish

    The kingfisher will often batter the fish on the branch of the tree in order to subdue it and make it easier to eat. However, it is also perfectly capable and adept at catching fish and then eating them ‘on the wing’ rather than returning to a perch.

    Pied Kingfisher with fish
    Perched Pied Kingfisher
    Pied Kingfisher, perched
    Pied Kingfisher searching for lunch

    Great birds to watch as they fly, hover, then dive at speed into the water and emerge, hopefully, with a fish. The dive is vertical, and fast.

    Pied Kingfisher

    February to April is the breeding time of the Pied Kingfisher. Its nest is invariably a hole in a vertical mud bank and the nest tunnel is generally a couple of metres deep and ends in a chamber.

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