A common question at Rye Meads is "how do you tell the difference between a male and a female kingfisher?"

Well I thought I would help out with this blog...

 

Male and female kingfishers are very similar, have a look at this picture below of last years pair:

  fab picture by Malcolm Housden

They are very similar... but the way to tell them apart is to remember: the female kingfisher wears lipstick!

The female has orange on the lower part of her beak, where as the male has a pure black beak.
  great pictures by Peter Hewitt

Kingfishers nest hidden away in a bank, so they don't need to be camoflaged - unlike ducks who nest out in the open, so the female ducks tend to be camoflaged so a predator doesnt see her when she's sitting on eggs or looking after young. 

Did you know that kingfishers aren't really that blue colour? It's to do with the pigments in their feathers, how their feathers reflect the light, and how our eyes percieve it!

Kingfishers are very territorial, so there will only be one pair in our nesting bank. The territory is dependent on fish population (the less fish the wider the territory will be and vice versa), they can be very agressive about territory - in some cases they will fight to the death!


Hope that helps!

 Lou

 

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