African Kingfishers (Alcedininae) - African Wildlife and Nature Photographs

African Kingfishers

Family: (Alcedinidae, Halcyonidae, Cerylidae)

There are approximately 90 species of kingfishers worldwide, 10% of them are African Kingfishers deriving from the order Coraciiformes containing three families, Alcedinidae (river kingfishers), Halcyonidae (tree kingfishers), and Cerylidae (water kingfishers)..Some of these are intra African migrants to South and Southern Africa like the Woodland Kingfisher (Halcyon senegalensis) but all Kingfishers have similar characteristics and are of the order as mentioned above Coraciiformes meaning colourful near passerines. All species in this order have large heads and long sharp bills but strangely all also have short stubby legs.

While kingfishers are usually thought to live near rivers and eat fish, most of the species in the world live away from water and eat small invertebrates. Like other species of their order Kingfishers nest in cavities, usually tunnels dug into the natural or artificial banks in the ground. Of course their are always excepts to the rules, in Africa alone this species comes in a variety of sizes and colours ranging from the very small pygmy kingfisher to the large giant kingfisher.

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