Kingfisher Facts

Kingfisher Facts
Kingfisher is small to medium-sized bird that belongs to the kingfisher family. There are 87 species of kingfisher that can be divided in three major groups (or in three separate families according to some systems of classification): river kingfishers, tree kingfishers and water kingfishers. These birds can be found all over the world, with the greatest diversity of species in tropical areas. Kingfisher inhabits lowland freshwater areas, river estuaries and areas near the streams, lakes, marshes and ponds. Stuffed kingfishers in the glass cases were kept as decorative items during Victorian era, and their feathers were used for decoration of hats. Even though kingfishers are rarely hunted today, many species are classified as threatened or endangered due to accelerated habitat loss and introduction of new species.
Interesting Kingfisher Facts:
Kingfisher can reach 4 to 18 inches in length and 0.33 to 16 ounces of weight.
Most species of kingfisher are blue or green-colored with orange or reddish-colored chest.
Kingfisher has large head, long, sharp, dagger-like beak, sturdy body, short legs and stubby tail. Shovel-billed kookaburra is a species of kingfisher that has large, shovel-like bill designed for the excavation of prey from the soil.
Kingfisher has excellent eyesight which facilitates detection of prey. It has fast and direct flying, but it is also able to hover above the water when it searches and collects food.
Kingfisher is a carnivore. Its diet is based on the fish, crayfish, frogs and snails. It usually consumes 15 to 16 minnows per day during the winter.
Tree kingfishers, despite their name, do not eat fish. They live in the forested areas and hunt and eat insects and other arthropods.
Natural enemies of kingfishers are foxes, raccoons, cats and snakes.
Kingfisher is migratory bird. It travels thousands of miles to reach the wintering grounds.
Kingfisher is solitary, territorial and aggressive bird outside the breeding season.
Kingfisher doesn't sing, but it produces dry, loud screeching noise.
Mating couples usually form during the autumn, but they live on the separate territories until the spring, when they gather to construct the nest and reproduce.
Kingfishers construct 3 to 8 feet long burrow (nest) at the edge of the stream or lake. Some species of kingfisher lay eggs in the cavities of trees or even in the abandoned termite nests.
Kingfishers produce 2 to 3 broods per year. An average clutch size is 3 to 6 (up to 10) eggs. Both parents take part in the incubation of eggs during a period of 3 to 4 weeks. Young birds depend on their parents until the age of 3 to 4 months.
Many young kingfishers drown shortly after leaving the nest due to lack of flying experience.
Kingfisher has an average lifespan of 6 to 10 years.

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