Common kingfisher

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Common kingfisher
A kingfisher capturing a tadpole
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Coraciiformes
Family: Alcedinidae
Genus: Alcedo
Binomial name
Alcedo atthis
(Linnaeus, 1758)
      Breeding range
      Resident all year-round
      Non-breeding range

The common kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) [2] is a small kingfisher. Like most kingfishers, it needs a perch to do its fishing. Usual is to see it on a tree branch overlooking a river.

There are seven subspecies in its wide distribution across Eurasia and North Africa. It is resident over much of its range, but migrates from areas where rivers freeze in winter.

This sparrow-sized bird has the typical short-tailed, large-headed kingfisher profile; it has blue upperparts, orange underparts and a long bill. It feeds mainly on fish caught by diving, and has special visual adaptions to see its prey underwater. The glossy white eggs are laid in a nest at the end of a burrow in a riverbank.

Sources[change | change source]

  1. BirdLife International (2012). "Alcedo atthis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/details/22683027. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. or 'Eurasian kingfisher' or 'River kingfisher'


Alcedo atthis