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Kingfisher

The Malagasy Kingfisher (Corythornis vintsioides)Alcedo atthisAlcedo atthisMalachite Kingfisher close to the Kafue river near Kafue, Zambia.
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Kingfisher Facts

Kingdom:
Five groups that classify all living things
Animalia
Phylum:
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
Chordata
Class:
A group of animals within a pylum
Aves
Order:
A group of animals within a class
Coraciiformes
Family:
A group of animals within an order
Alcedines
Scientific Name:
Comprised of the genus followed by the species
Coraciiformes
Type:
The animal group that the species belongs to
Bird
Diet:
What kind of foods the animal eats
Omnivore
Size (H):
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
10cm - 37.5cm (4in - 15in)
Wingspan:20cm - 66cm (7.8in - 26in)
Weight:
The measurement of how heavy the animal is
10g - 170g (0.4oz - 6oz)
Top Speed:
The fastest recorded speed of the animal
40km/h (25mph)
Life Span:
How long the animal lives for
6 - 10 years
Lifestyle:
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable
Solitary
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
Threatened
Colour:
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
Red, Green, Yellow, Orange, Black, Blue, Brown
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal
Feathers
Favourite Food:Fish
Habitat:
The specific area where the animal lives
Lowland freshwater areas and river estuaries
Average Clutch Size:
The average number of eggs laif at once
4
Main Prey:Fish, Shrimp, Insects, Tadpoles
Predators:
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
Foxes, Snakes, Raccoons
Distinctive Features:
Characteristics unique to the animal
Small body and long, sharp and straight beaks

Kingfisher Location

Map of Kingfisher Locations

Kingfisher

The kingfisher is a small to medium sized colourful bird generally found close to water.There are nearly 100 different species of the kingfisher bird found around the world.

Kingfishers live both in wetlands and woodlands worldwide, feeding mainly on fish but also insects, frogs and crayfish with those kingfisher species that live in the woodlands occasionally eating reptiles, birds and even small mammals.

There are three main types of kingfisher around the globe which are the river kingfishers, the tree kingfishers and the water kingfishers all of which have large heads, long sharp pointed bills, short legs, and stubby tails.

The smallest species of kingfisher is the African Dwarf Kingfisher, which gets to an average of 10.4 g in weight and just 10 cm (4 inches) in length. The largest kingfisher species is the Giant Kingfisher, which gets to an average of 355 g (13.5 oz) and grows to 45 cm (18 inches). However, the familiar Australian kingfisher known as the Laughing Kookaburra may be the heaviest known kingfisher species, since large adult Australian kingfishers exceeding 450 g in weight are quite common.

Kingfishers nest in tree hollows and holes dug into the ground, which tend to be in river banks or at the sides of lakes. Kingfishers dig small tunnels with their nest at the end, which can range in length depending on the species. The giant kingfisher is known to dig tunnels that are over 8 meters long! Female kingfishers lay up to 10 eggs (although normally less), and both the male and the female kingfishers help to incubate the eggs, which hatch in between 3 and 4 weeks.

Kingfishers are well known for their brightly coloured feathers which range in colour from black to red to green. Some species of kingfisher have tufts of feathers on their heads which stick upwards, although many species of kingfishers have smooth, flat feathers covering their bodies.

Due to their generally small size, kingfishers have a number of predators wherever they exist around the world. The main predators of the kingfisher are foxes, raccoons, cats and snakes, but kingfishers are also preyed upon by other small mammals and large birds. The eggs of the kingfisher are also preyed upon by many of the kingfisher's predators.

Many species of kingfisher are considered to be threatened species as their numbers have been declining mainly due to habitat loss. These threatened species of kingfisher tend to be the kingfisher species that inhabit woodland and forests as their habitat is being destroyed due to deforestation which occurs in many areas around the world.

Kingfisher Comments

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First Published: 5th December 2008, Last Updated: 9th January 2017 [View Sources]

Sources:
1. Christopher Perrins, Oxford University Press (2009) The Encyclopedia Of Birds [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2009]
2. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 05 Dec 2008]
3. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
4. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 05 Dec 2008]
5. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2009]
6. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 05 Dec 2008]

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