Most beautiful small birds - Sykalo Eugen 2024

Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)


  • Species name: Common Kingfisher, Eurasian Kingfisher, River Kingfisher
  • Scientific name: Alcedo atthis
  • Family: Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
  • Order: Coraciiformes (Rollers, Kingfishers, Bee-eaters)
  • Subclass: Neornithes (Modern birds)
  • Class: Aves (Birds)


  • Size: Small bird, about 16-18 cm (6.3-7.1 in) long with a wingspan of 25-27 cm (9.8-10.6 in).
  • Body shape: Compact and stocky, with a large head, short neck, and a stubby, powerful tail.
  • Plumage color:

Upperparts: Bright turquoise-blue with metallic sheen.

Underparts: Rusty orange.

Black mask and white patch under eyes.

Long, orange-red beak.

  • Beak: Long, straight, and pointed, orange-red in color, perfect for spearing fish and aquatic insects.
  • Legs: Short and bright orange.
  • Tail: Short and stubby.


  • Method of feeding: Hunts by perching on branches or reeds overlooking water, then diving headfirst to catch fish and aquatic insects.
  • Reproduction: Builds burrows in riverbanks or cliffs. Lays 4-7 white eggs. Both parents care for the young.
  • Movement: Resident in much of its range, but some migration in northern areas.
  • Communication: Loud, shrill whistle used to defend territory and attract mates. Also has chattering calls.


  • Habitat: Rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, and canals with clear water and overhanging vegetation.
  • Diet: Primarily fish and aquatic insects, but also crustaceans and amphibians.
  • Hunting methods: Perches on branches or reeds, spots prey in the water below, and dives headfirst to snatch it with its long, sharp beak.

Distribution: Found across Europe, Asia, and North Africa. Also found in parts of the Middle East and Siberia.


Don't underestimate the flash of turquoise that darts along rivers and streams - the Common Kingfisher is a feathered jewel with more than meets the eye. Beneath its vibrant plumage and dagger-like beak lies a treasure trove of fascinating facts and hidden skills that will leave you mesmerized by this aquatic acrobat:

Diving Dynamo: Forget graceful swans; the Kingfisher is a diving champion. It plunges headfirst into water with incredible speed and precision, catching unsuspecting fish in a flash of turquoise brilliance. Imagine them as feathered torpedoes with built-in underwater radar!

Unexpected Architects: Kingfisher nests aren't built on branches or in cozy hollows. These feathered engineers dig tunnels up to ten feet long in sandy riverbanks, creating burrows that offer cool refuge and protection for their chicks. Talk about feathered excavators with built-in shovels and a penchant for riverfront real estate!

Feathered Fashionista: The Kingfisher's beauty isn't just a splash of color. Its plumage reflects light in a spectacular way, making it shimmer and change hues depending on the angle. It's like a feathered disco ball with built-in iridescence!

Silent Stalker: Despite its vibrant appearance, the Kingfisher is a master of stealth. It perches motionless on branches, patiently waiting for prey, and its silent flight allows it to approach unsuspecting fish without a ripple. Think of them as feathered ninjas with built-in invisibility cloaks!

Unexpected Tool Users: Recent research suggests Kingfishers might be smarter than we thought. They have been observed using sticks and twigs to flush out prey from hiding beneath rocks and vegetation. Talk about feathered fishers with built-in underwater bait!

Symbiotic Symphony: Kingfishers play a vital role in the ecosystem. By controlling fish populations, they help maintain the health of waterways and freshwater ecosystems. These feathered fishermen contribute to a balanced aquatic symphony.

Cultural Charmer: Kingfishers have held a special place in human cultures for centuries. They appear in folklore, art, and even music, often symbolizing purity, swiftness, and the captivating beauty of nature. It's a testament to the enduring fascination we have with these feathered jewels of the rivers.

Hidden Vulnerability: Despite their resilience, Kingfishers face threats from habitat loss, pollution, and invasive species. Conservation efforts are crucial to ensure these vibrant jewels continue to grace our waterways for generations to come.