Ella’s wild about wildlife: kingfishers

The King of the fishers

The thing I love about kingfishers is they are so illusive so when you do see one  it is extremely exciting! Watching out for them keeps me on edge and alert. Kingfishers are one of my favourite birds. They are beautiful, fast and clever. On a recent walk we saw some shooting down the canal in a straight line. They just like a blur of turquoise! Seeing them sends a shiver down my spine! An angelic creature soaring in front of you like a flash of lightning! I always wonder how it goes so fast so easily.

General information
When someone says where do kingfishers live most people think of a river. This is true – they need to fish but you can also find them around marches and the coast. Kingfishers often eat minnows (little fish) and in winter months eat 14  – 15 a day! They also eat insects like dragon and damsel fly nymphs. Kingfishers struggle to survive at winter and 90% die in Britain at the time. This is because the rivers might be frozen over meaning they can’t fish and eat. If you want to help them out when the rivers are frozen then dig a hole in the ice and you’ll have helped a kingfisher!

Some things 

  • Kingfishers don’t actually have blue pigments in their wings, it is actually the result of light striking special cells that makes them blue!
  • The way you can tell the difference between females and male kingfishers is to look at their lower beak. Females have a reddy orangey colour there, whereas males are just plain black.
  • Unfortunately young kingfishers die in their first days because when they do there first dive they get waterlogged and sadly drown.

Kingfishers are certainly worth the wait to see. You might only catch a glimpse but you’ll be buzzing about it afterwards!