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Alcedo atthis

Alcedo atthis
Photo Information
Copyright: Filipe Caetano (Filipe_Caetano) Silver Note Writer [C: 5 W: 0 N: 79] (368)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-06-25
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D70, Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM + 1.4x
Exposure: f/8, 1/200 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2009-02-03 13:40
Viewed: 4111
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 26
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Phylum: Chordata

Class: Aves

Order: Coraciiformes

Family: Alcedinidae

Genus: Alcedo

Species: A. atthis

Binomial name
Alcedo atthis
The European Kingfisher or Common Kingfisher, Alcedo atthis, is widely distributed in Europe, Africa, and Asia. It is resident except in northern areas where the rivers freeze. It will then move to milder regions. In most of its European range it is the only kingfisher.

The general colour of the upper parts of the adult bird is bright metallic blue, cobalt on the back, and showing greenish reflections on the head and wings. The ear coverts and under parts are warm chestnut, the chin and sides of neck white.

The bill is blackish and reddish orange at the base; the legs are bright red with a dark blue stripe. In the young the bill is black. Length averages 19 cm (7.5 inches) and wings average 7.5 cm (2.95 inches).

The flight of the Kingfisher is rapid, the short rounded wings whirring until they appear a mere blur. It usually flies near the water, but during courtship the male chases the female through and over the trees with loud shrill whistles.

From February onwards the male has a trilling song, a modulated repetition of many whistles. He also signals with a whistle to the female when he is feeding her, this being his share of the nesting duties. This whistle is produced even when his bill is loaded with food, yet is clear and distinct. The female will reply and emerge from the nesting hole, and may fly to meet him, take the fish from him in the air, and return to the nest.

The bird has regular perches or stands from which it fishes. These may be a few inches or many feet above the water. It sits upright, its tail pointed downwards. It drops suddenly with a splash and usually returns at once with a struggling captive.

Large fish are beaten on a bough or rail; small fish and insects are promptly swallowed. A fish is usually lifted and carried by its middle, but its position is changed, sometimes by tossing it into the air, before it is swallowed head downwards.

The Kingfisher sometimes hovers over the water, with body held almost vertical, the tail and head bent slightly forward and the bill inclined downward.

It is a bird of the waterside, since it feeds entirely upon aquatic animals. It is frequent beside lakes, ponds, canals or dykes and streams.

In winter, especially when inland waters are icebound, it may move to tidal marshes and the shore, taking its stand on the mussel or limpet covered rocks and diving into the shallow pools.

Fish, aquatic insects and crustaceans are eaten. It eats numerous freshwater shrimps Gammarus.

boreocypriensis, chudy, Taralee, Alex99, robindb, Juyona, Tamrock, phlr has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Filipe,
A stunningly perfect capture of this feeding beauty. Great timely shot with excellent details and sharpness.
TFS and cheers,


  • Great 
  • chudy Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 130 W: 0 N: 176] (899)
  • [2009-02-03 14:02]

Hi Filipe
Say that a lot here, photo super.
I salute Slawek.

Excellent photo, sharpness is very good, DOF excellent and I like the composition.

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2009-02-03 21:16]

Hi Filipe.
Amazing shot of a one of the beautiful birds which I will never meet in my life. However, I can watch it at so wonderful picture. I like pictured scene a lot. Details, sharpness of the bird with its prey and colour are simply superb as well as he right composition of the picture. My best wishes and TFS.

Hi Filipe,

Probably one of the best images seen in a long time. Colour, detail, composition, action and timing are all present. The water drops make this image stunning.



  • Great 
  • eliz Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 167 W: 20 N: 271] (1537)
  • [2009-02-03 22:40]

great capture and very nice setup (sigma 120-300)

  • Great 
  • zetu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 26 N: 3888] (16941)
  • [2009-02-04 0:41]

Hello Felipe
Perfect capture with sharp image, beautiful colors and great moment.

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2009-02-04 0:54]

Hola Filipe,
preciosa captura,
detalles foco y color maravillosos,

great capture, TFS Ori

hi filipe!
congrat to this exellent pic!
good work!

świetne ujęcie! Pięknie wykorzystałeś światło i w rezultacie bardzo dobrze oddałeś barwę ptaka i rybki. Znakomita głębia ostrości (DOF) i perspektywa (POV)! Bardzo mi sie podoba także to jak skomponowałeś to zdjęcie. Gratuluję, zasługuje ono na "uśmiech".
TFS and best wishes

Filipe çok çok güzel bir fotoğraf.Avı yeni yakalamış,gagadaki su damlası ile tüylerdeki su damlaları ile müthiş bir kare,ellerine sağlık :)

Olá Filipe,

Como amante da natureza, devo dizer-lhe que essa foto está excelente. Muito bem definida, e com cores excelentes. Também conseguiu um timming excelente.
Bom trabalho. Pode continuar. :)


Perfec capture Filipe.

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