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Common Kingfisher, Alcedo atthis

The Common Kingfisher, Alcedo atthis, also known as Eurasian Kingfisher or River Kingfisher, is a small kingfisher with seven subspecies distributed across Eurasia and North Africa. It is resident in much of its range, but migrates from areas in which the rivers freeze in winter.


This sparrow-sized bird has the typical short-tailed, large-headed kingfisher profile; it has blue upperparts, orange underparts and a long bill. It feeds mainly on fish, caught by diving, and has special visual adaptions to enable it to pursue its prey under water. The glossy white eggs are laid in a nest at the end of a burrow in a riverbank.

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Taken on March 1, 2009