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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Malachite Kingfisher

Afrikaans name: Kuifkopvisvanger

Malachite Kingfisher

Malachite Kingfisher

Photo © Steven Herbert

Alcedo cristata

You may be surprised to learn that many Kingfishers have nothing to do with water. The Malachite Kingfisher is, however, one that you will always see around dams and rivers.

It is a beautiful bird and is often only seen as a colourful object whizzing by. It has a fast and direct flight as it moves from one perch to another.

The Malachite Kingfisher feeds on small fish and insects. Fish are swallowed head first.

Breeding pairs make a tunnel into a sandy bank where they lay up to 6 eggs.

This species may be confused with the similar looking Pygmy Kingfisher but that species occurs away from water which is a great clue to which species you are looking at.

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References and further reading

A Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: O.P.M. Prozesky - Year Published: 1983 - Page: 171

A First Guide to South African Birds - 6th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Year Published: 1959 - Page: 98

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Year Published: 1975 - Page: 98

Animals of the Kruger National Park - Author: G. de Graaff - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 90

Birds of Southern Africa - Kruger National Park - Author: Kenneth Newman - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 130

Birds of the Natal Drakensberg Park - Author: Robin Little and William Bainbridge - Year Published: 1992 - Page: 56

Birds of the South Western Cape - Author: Joy Frandsen - Year Published: - Page: 136

Birds of the Transvaal - Author: Tarboton, Kemp and Kemp - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 143

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Year Published: 1999 - Page: 46

Common Birds of the North Coast - Author: Bing Comrie - Year Published: 2005 - Page: 44

Everyone's Guide to South African Birds - Author: John Sinclair and John Mendelsohn - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 53

Field Guide to the Birds of Kruger National Park - Author: Ian Sinclair and Ian Whyte - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 122

Ian Sinclair's Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair - Year Published: 1988 - Page: 176

Newman's Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Year Published: 1984 - Page: 252

Newman's Birds of Southern Africa - 7th Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Year Published: 2000 - Page: 252

Newman's Garden Birds - Author: Ken Newman - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 56

Questions and Answers - Birds of Southern Africa - Author: Deirdre Richards - Year Published: 1990 - Page: 21

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Year Published: 1949 - Page: 161

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Year Published: 1975 - Page: 271

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Year Published: 1981 - Page: 284

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 375

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 372

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 248

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 256

Southern African Bird Names Explained - Author: Charles Clinning - Year Published: 1989 - Page: 4

The Birds of South Africa - Author: Hazel Stokes - Year Published: 1979 - Page: 28

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 122

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