Thursday, January 7, 2016

Kingfisher Perfection

This pretty bird is a belted kingfisher, commonly found in northern Ontario and other parts of North America. It migrates as far south as the Caribbean and northern parts of South America. 

As you can see, it has a raggedy crest and a sturdy bill. This medium-sized bird is an adept diver and feasts on small fish, crustaceans and amphibians. It nests in muddy or sandy river bank tunnels where the young are at risk of drowning should the water level rise. 

In the UK, kingfishers look somewhat different but behave in a similar way. Their bodies are more compact and they have orange breasts. British kingfishers are found there year-round but the species is considered fragile since they are so affected by the kind of habitat degradation that must have occurred at the end of December with all the flooding in the north of England. 

This wonderful photo was taken by Brit wildlife photog Jack Perks, who always manages to capture images at crucial moments. We had to look twice at this pic to see that the kingfisher's bill is not deformed, it's holding a small fish.

Alan McFadyen is a Scottish photographer who has had a love of wildlife and in particular of kingfishers since being introduced to birding 40 years ago by his beloved grandfather. In honour and memory of his late grand, he wanted to take that perfect photo of a kingfisher. It took him 6 years of single-minded effort and 720,000 shots to do just that. On the way, he captured many striking images. 

Female kingfishers sat on a perch around four feet above the water and would only dive three or four times a day, Mr McFadyen said
Photo by 
Before finally photographing the perfect shot, Mr McFadyen clocked up 4,200 hours at Kirkcudbright in Scotland during his efforts
Photo by 

At last, the perfect shot: at the point of entry into the water. 

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More photos and info herehere and here.