K is for Kingfisher

Kingfishers

Look out for Kingfishers as you explore the River Stour

6 Kingfisher facts

1. Kingfishers have brown feathers

The bright blue colour you see is the result of light striking specially modified cells in the feathers on the bird's back.

2. There are 87 different species

- but only 1 lives in Europe
It is known as the river kingfisher and feeds on fish and aquatic insects, such as dragonfly nymphs and water beetles. Many of the world's kingfishers don't eat fish and rarely go near water.

3. They have filthy, smelly nests

They nest at the end of a 60cm long tunnel which they excavate into the river bank. It becomes littered with droppings and stinking fish bones.

4. Kingfisher chicks eat up to 20 minnows a day

With 7 chicks to feed for 30 days, how many minnows must the parents catch?

 

5. Kingfishers don't sing

Although they do make a call like a shrill whistle when they fly.

6. Kingfishers can hover while fishing

Usually they fly at one speed - fast and straight.