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.

References and further reading

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

Wildlife of the Cape Peninsula - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 2001 - Page: 55

Wild About Johannesburg - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 1995 - Page: 50

The Birds of South Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Published: 1949 - Page: 161

The Sandton Field Guide - Author: Sandton Nature Conservation Society - Published: 1982 - Page: 51

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

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

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

Southern African Wildlife - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1989 - Page: 145

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

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

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

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

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

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 2nd edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1957 - Page: 211

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

Newmans Garden Birds - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 1991 - Page: 56

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

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

Meeting with Birds - Author: Tom Spence - Published: 1986 - Page: 65

Freshwater Life - Author: C. Griffiths, J. Day & M. Picker - Published: 2015 - Page: 62

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

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

Everyones Guide to South African Birds - Author: John Sinclair and John Mendelsohn - Published: 1987 - Page: 53

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

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

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

Birds of the South Western Cape - Author: Joy Frandsen - Published: 0 - Page: 136

Birds of the Transkei - Author: C.D. Quickelberge - Published: 1989 - Page: 75

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

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

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

Bird Atlas of Natal - Author: Digby Cyrus and Nigel Robson - Published: 1980 - Page: 160

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

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

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

BirdLife South Africa


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