Kingfisher - MarcoPesaresi

The sight of your first Kingfisher is always a memorable one I can recall to this day the very first time I saw one, its a memory you never forget as these have to be amongst the most beautiful and exotic birds we have here in the UK.

If you get out enough to either watch or photograph Wildlife then seeing a Kingfisher is not uncommon as you think, when you do come across one they are normally some distance away and fly past very quickly, Just hearing that call and then seeing that blue flash out the corner of your eye is a massive buzz alone.

Kingfishers have a distinctive trill sounding call and its this that you hear first followed by a blue flash streaking low across the water, but if you want to photograph and get decent shot of this beautiful bird then ideally you have to get close and that most certainly is a privilege, I’ve photographed Kingfishers in the past but never as close as what I was able to get with these following pictures, my time was limited as I was only off work for a single day so I only had one chance of getting out and trying my luck as after that I was going to be stuck in work for a couple of weeks.

The location for this shoot was a river where I knew a Kingfisher was present, I set up my hide and waited, it did not take too long before the Kingfisher came whizzing past me, it did this a couple of times in the space of an hour and I honestly thought that it was not going to land on the perch I was focused on, but then out of nowhere there it was, a Kingfisher on a perch and in my sights and my visitor was a very healthy looking juvenile bird.

Kingfisher juvenile (Alcedo atthis) Canon 1D MkIV – 500mm

The way you can tell that this is a juvenile bird is by its feet, a juvenile Kingfisher has greyish orange feet whereas the adult bird has bright Orange feet, it’s also difficult to sex juvenile birds as we know a female has the top half of her beak dark whilst the lower beak has a lot of Orange whilst the males beak is completely dark, juveniles on the other hand have a complete dark beak be it male or female just like the male but with time the females lower beak starts to get lighter.

Kingfisher juvenile (Alcedo atthis) Canon 1D MkIV – 500mm
Kingfisher juvenile (Alcedo atthis) Canon 1D MkIV – 500mm

And finally here is an adult male Kingfisher (notice how Orange the feet are compared to the dull grey feet of the juvenile above) this wonderful male bird had just caught a rather large Bullhead fish, this fish was not a meal for itself.

When Kingfishers are feeding their young they purposely present their fishy meal head first to their offspring, this is so all the scales are facing backwards and the fish can slide down the young birds throat smoothly without any problems of the scales retracting out and causing the young bird to choke.

As you can see this male bird holding this fish in a position to feed another bird and not itself, no sooner had it caught this fish that it was off in a flash down river with its fishy prize probably straight into its burrow to feed its chicks.

Kingfisher Adult male (Alcedo atthis) Canon 1D MkIV – 500mm
Kingfisher Adult male (Alcedo atthis) Canon 1D MkIV – 500mm
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