Most beautiful small birds - Sykalo Eugen 2024

Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis)


  • Species name: Pied Kingfisher
  • Scientific name: Ceryle rudis
  • Family: Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
  • Order: Coraciiformes (Rollers)
  • Subclass: Neornithes (Modern birds)
  • Class: Aves (Birds)


  • Size: Medium-sized kingfisher, about 25 cm (9.8 in) long with a wingspan of 42-47 cm (16.5-18.5 in).
  • Body shape: Stocky with a large head, short neck, powerful legs, and a short, stubby tail.
  • Plumage color:

Males: Striking black and white. Black mask, crest, wings, and breast bands. White throat, collar, and underparts. Glossy black bill.

Females: Similar to males but with a single broken breast band instead of two.

  • Beak: Long, powerful, and dagger-like, black in color. Adapted for diving and catching fish.
  • Legs: Short and bright orange-red.
  • Tail: Short and square-tipped.


  • Feeding: Perches on branches or rocks near water, then dives headfirst to catch fish, frogs, and other aquatic prey. Can hover in mid-air before diving.
  • Reproduction: Nests in burrows dug in riverbanks or cliffs. Lays 3-7 white eggs. Both parents care for the young.
  • Movement: Primarily resident but some populations migrate short distances. Often seen perched singly or in pairs.
  • Communication: Loud, piercing whistle call and a rapid chattering call.


  • Habitat: Rivers, lakes, streams, mangroves, estuaries, and other freshwater and coastal areas.
  • Diet: Primarily fish, but also takes frogs, insects, lizards, and crustaceans.
  • Hunting methods: Hunts from perches or by hovering in mid-air. Dives headfirst into water to catch prey, using its long beak to spear them.

Distribution: Widespread across Africa and southern Asia, from Ethiopia and Senegal to India and Myanmar. Also found in Madagascar and some islands in the Indian Ocean.

Pied Kingfisher

The Pied Kingfisher, with its electric turquoise plumage and raucous laughter, is a jewel of the riverbanks. But this charismatic bird is much more than just a pretty face. Dive into the fascinating world of the Pied Kingfisher and discover the science and secrets behind its captivating life:

Diving Dynamo: The Pied Kingfisher isn't just a splash of color, it's a master of underwater acrobatics. With its short, powerful legs and streamlined body, it can plunge headfirst into water from over 65 feet, piercing the surface with pinpoint accuracy. Its sharp hooked beak and keen eyesight help it snare unsuspecting fish in a millisecond. Talk about fast food!

Laughter in the Airwaves: The Pied Kingfisher's call isn't just a melodious chirp; it's a boisterous laugh. This loud, echoing "hoo-hoo-hoo" serves multiple purposes. It's a territorial declaration, a way to attract mates, and even a warning to rivals. Their laughter carries far across the water, making them hard to miss (and hard to forget!).

Tunnel Vision Architects: Pied Kingfishers don't build nests in trees; they carve out their homes in steep riverbanks. Using their strong beaks and tireless feet, they dig tunnels up to 6 feet long, creating cozy chambers for raising their young. This underground haven offers protection from predators and the scorching sun, showcasing their engineering ingenuity.

Feathered Fashion Icons: The Pied Kingfisher's plumage is more than just eye-catching; it's a testament to evolution. The turquoise back and white underbelly provide camouflage from both above and below. Predators like hawks can't spot them against the sky, while fish have a hard time seeing them when they dive. It's like wearing a double invisibility cloak!

Fishing with Feathers: Unlike most kingfishers that wait patiently for prey, the Pied Kingfisher takes a more proactive approach. They will dip their feathers in water, attracting small fish that mistake them for insects. This clever trick showcases their resourcefulness and adaptability.

Unexpected Socialites: Although fiercely territorial during breeding season, Pied Kingfishers can surprisingly form loose colonies outside of nesting time. They perch together on branches, preen each other's feathers, and even share food. This unexpected social side hints at a complex communication and cooperation system within their flocks.

Fishy Feasts: The Pied Kingfisher's diet isn't limited to just fish. They'll happily munch on insects, frogs, crustaceans, and even the occasional small snake. Their diverse menu reflects their opportunistic nature and ability to thrive in various habitats.