Birding, Epupa Falls Lodge, Namibia

Cunene Birds: Pied Kingfisher

Pied Kingfisher – Ceryle rudis

Pied Kingfisher_3

The Pied Kingfisher is entirely black and white. The male has a double black breast band while the female only has partial black breast band.

Status: The Pied Kingfisher is found in pairs or in small groups at open water bodies. They are fairly wide spread and resident in some areas.

Food: Mainly fish, but will also enjoy invertebrates like crabs, prawns and aquatic and terrestrial insects.  They hover above the water, looking for fish and then dive for the fish.

Call: They make a high-pitched twittering – often made by more than one bird.

Breeding: The Pied Kingfisher nests in holes in the river bank – usually in banks of alluvial soils that have been cut by flowing water. Pairs breed individually but occasionally groups can be found breeding on the same stretch of river bank, spaces about 25 m apart.

The tunnels are excavated by the birds themselves. At the entrance, holes measure up to 60 mm in diameter and extend into the bank for 1.2 meters. Eggs are laid on the bare soil although fish bones and droppings do accumulate once the chicks hatch.

The Pied Kingfisher is monogamous.

Source: Roberts Bird Guide, 2007

A Guide to Nests & Eggs of Southern African Birds, Warwick Tarbaton, 2001

The Wildlife of Southern Africa, Vincent Carruthers, 1997

Photo: Copyright