Harriet Smith Photography


"For The Love of Africa"

AFRICAN SAFARIS - Trips Of A Lifetime



Meal Fit For A Giant Kingfisher

South Africa, Kruger National Park, Skukuza, Panic Lake.  The giant kingfisher resembles the black & white pied kingfisher; other than being larger and darker, growing to a length of 18 inches. Despite its size, the giant kingfisher can remain unseen, sitting motionlessly for long periods. Its favorite food  is crab, and bits of crab shell are often seen around the perches of giant kingfishers. They also feed on fish, regurgitating the fish scales. The bird dives into the water, grabs the fish in its large beak, and then returns to its perch, where it beats the fish against the branch and swallows it head first. The giant kingfisher hunts mostly from its perch, usually situated above water. Occasionally, when it is out to sea, it will hover and then dive onto its prey from the air.

Giant kingfishers occur in Southern Africa. They can be found near streams, rivers, estuaries, lakes,  ponds and occasionally on the seashore.  The giant kingfishers nest in burrows that are excavated approximately 3 feet below the top of a vertical bank. They tunnel into the bank between 6-8 feet,  ending in a chamber about 1 foot  in diameter.

Meal Fit For A Giant Kingfisher
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