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Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) – small bird with bright plumage: dark-blue back and striped, black-blue, top of the head combined with a bright orange belly. The beak of the kingfisher ordinary straight and long, with a markedly protruding ridge of the upper mandible. Wings rather short (7-8 cm) and broad, short tail. Females are smaller than males. Settles birds along the shores of rivers, lakes, streams, ponds – ponds with clean and quiet running water. To choose nesting steep banks, overgrown with bushes and trees. Kingfishers good feel in the mountains, can nest at an altitude of 2000 m.
Outside the breeding season, male and female are kept apart in pairs together only in the mating season. In the middle zone of European Russia nesting period – the second half of April – early May, when the birds return to wintering. Jack male and female dig beak, claws dug ground discarded. Bore holes, usually located above the water, immediately adjacent or at a certain distance, well hidden and branches of trees or shrubs.
To his burrow couple returned several seasons. Kingfishers, as well as all the birds that nest in burrows, do not build their nests in them present in the conventional sense of the word. In a new burrow, the female lays eggs on the bare ground, occasionally makes semblance of dry grass litter. In the old burrow gradually accumulated food debris – fish bones, scales, wings of insects, including litter and formed an egg. In this litter infest fly larvae burrow kingfishers sharp and unpleasant smell.
kingfishers eggs shiny, white, almost round. The female usually lays 5-7 eggs, sometimes less or more, up to 10 pieces. Hatch eggs male and female take turns, for 21 days. The chicks hatched without feathers, bare. After a while they grow feathers, covered with caps. Chicks acquire ezhepodobny view.
Female feeds the chicks. The male is not engaged in feeding the chicks, but all the time kept close to the mink. Nourished and nurtured one litter usually happens in mid – late June, a pair of kingfishers postpones second clutch of eggs, close to the beginning of July, sometimes earlier.
Common Kingfisher feeds mainly on small fish up to 6 cm. Also feeds on the larvae of dragonflies, aquatic insects and other invertebrates. Sometimes it eats earthworms, shrimp, and occasionally – even small frogs.
Sitting on his observation post, kingfisher looking out for their prey. When a victim comes into view, kingfisher catches the water and plunges gently grabs the fish. With prey in its beak flying in the hole, and then it comes back. Place kingfisher feeding may be at a distance of half a kilometer to a kilometer from the place of nesting.