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Charlie Fleming | all galleries >> Birds of the world in Taxonomic order. Species count to December 2023 is 980 >> Common Kingfisher - Alcedo athis >> Breeding Kingfishers 2013 > 13 July
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More in flight bathing.

13 July

This morning the Kingfishers were still coming to feed their youngsters and still they are yet to fledge. I am starting to be really surprised that it's taking so long. My calculations indicate that they were due last Tuesday but 5 days later they still haven't, perhaps tomorrow now? It was again beautiful to watch the adults this morning, but again a bit worrying, the disturbance is just constant. When people started to arrive they were obviously disturbed and I watched the male fly to the nest with a fish and then turn away because fishermen were literally standing above the nest. Eventually, once the fishermen had moved on I am sure that they would come again to feed their young. You just have to hope that the youngsters can survive these extended periods when they are not fed. They seem to get around this and its obviously worked for them up till now. I watched the male bring a reasonably large fish to the burrow and as usual when they have large prey it stopped in front of the nest before taking it in to the burrow. I have a theory as to why they do this. An adult Kingfisher weighs on average around an ounce and half, thats about 40 grams. If they dive and successfully catch a large prey item that could easily weigh half the weight of the bird. My theory is that that an adult bird must find it strenuous to carry, fly with and then manoeuvre something that is so comparatively heavy and it must be difficult to fly in to the nest with accuracy when carrying a fish half it's weight. I am sure that this is the reason but it doesn't answer the question as to how a young Kingfisher is able to swallow an item of prey that could be more than half it's weight.

Pentax PENTAX K-5 II s
1/3200s f/5.6 at 500.0mm iso1600 full exif

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Nick 23-Apr-2014 14:43
Great shot. Worth the wait!
joseantonio14-Jul-2013 10:39
What an amazing capture. And thank you for your information about this shot.V
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