A famously colourful bird of rivers and streams, the kingfisher can be spotted sitting quietly on low-hanging branches over the water, suddenly diving in to catch a small fish. Kingfishers breed near lowland watercourses and lakes which have suitable banks for burrowing nests and shallow edges for feeding. They occasionally visit gardens.
Kingfishers are vulnerable to harsh winters and habitat degradation such as pollution and the unsympathetic management of riverbanks.
How to identify
The striking mix of its bright-blue back and metallic copper breast make the kingfisher unmistakable. Male kingfishers have an entirely black bill, females have an orangey-red patch at the base.