Species profile

Name: the kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) – also known as the common or Eurasian kingfisher – is a small, brightly coloured bird in the kingfisher family.

Appearance: easily recognised as a flash of bright blue, kingfishers have striking blue feathers and orange chests. Their tails are short and their beaks are long and thin.

Size: kingfishers are about the same size as sparrows, measuring around 16 cm long and weighing 35 grams.

Diet: they mainly feed on fish such as minnows, sticklebacks, and small roach and trout.

Did you know: kingfishers have a series of special adaptations to help them catch their prey. To help them see underwater they have a transparent third eyelid which protects their eyes. They also have two sets of light receptors in their eyes which allows them to focus in both air and water as they catch their prey. Each cell in their retinas also contains an oil droplet which enhances their ability to see colours and reduces glare from sunlight!

Location: they are found across Eurasia and North Africa near to clear, slow-flowing streams and rivers.

Where to see Kingfishers

According to reports submitted to WildSide, you can see kingfishers in the following places:

Place Chance to see User rating No. reports
Sefton Park

Photo credit: 12019 under a Creative Commons license from Pixabay

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