Friday, 4 December 2009

Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)


 Adult Common Kingfisher (subspecies A. a. ispida) at Geddington, Northants - December 2009

OTHER NAMES: Kingfisher, Eurasian Kingfisher
Local Name (Japan): Kawasemi (カワセミ) - "River Kingfisher"
Featured Subspecies: Alcedo atthis ispida
Weight: 31g
Length: 17cm
Wingspan: 25cm
UK AMBER LIST / IUCN Red List: Least Concern

Seeing a kingfisher can be tricky - they move at high speed, have low population densities as they are fish specialists, and generally when you do see them it is as a brilliant turquoise streak darting down the river next to you. The fact they live on rivers can work to your advantage - as they use the rivers as high speed roads, sitting along a river where they are known to be will probably eventually yield you a glimpse. Photographing them is an entire other ballgame, and are potentially one of the most tricky of all diurnal birds I've photographed so far - I've only seen them actually sitting still long enough to get my camera out a handful of times, more usually it's a flash of turquoise and orange dashing down the river that is almost instantly gone from sight.


Related Species:
Order: Coraciiformes
Family: Alcedinidae
Genus: Alcedo
Subspecies: A. a atthis, A. a. ispida, A. a. bengalensis, A. a. taprobana, A. a. floresiana, A. a. hispiddoides, A. a. salomonensis, A. a. japonica

- Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - Fairly common resident breeder (3,800-4,600 pairs)
 - Seen at sites including Rutland WaterPitsford ReservoirDitchford Gravel Pits and Geddington.
JAPAN - Widespread resident
 - KYOTO 2013 TRIP: A single bird seen fleetingly at Arashiyama

Further Information: RSPB, Wikipedia, BirdGuidesBirdForum Opus, Arkive, IUCN Red List

No comments:

Post a Comment