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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: 2007-09-02
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D70, Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM + 1.4x
Exposure: f/7.1, 1/400 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): aquatic birds! [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-09-25 15:01
Viewed: 6049
Favorites: 3 [view]
Points: 40
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Kingdom: Animalia

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.

thor68, mirceax, SMFortuna, Juyona, cicindela, greghume, pirate, SelenE, Patleboss, Alex99, phlr has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2007-09-25 15:03]

Hello Filipe, that's a wonderful bird shot. Very sharp, well exposed with a super background. I really like the eye and the beak. Incredible ! Fantastic colors too. Thanks.


  • Great 
  • thor68 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 795 W: 138 N: 1319] (5674)
  • [2007-09-25 15:10]

what a pretty kingfisher! not much to say or add here: perfect! :-)
sharpness, colors, composition, pose, light, bg - could not be better.
well done & take care, thor.

Hello Filipe,
A perfect shot of this beautuful bird.Amazing colours,perfect focus and Bg.

Olá Filipe,

Um magnífico trabalho, perfeito em seus mínimos detalhes!

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2007-09-25 15:38]

Hola Filipe,
espectacular trabajo,
color iluminación y pose...

Hello Felipe
There are a number of excellent kingfisher shots on Trek Nature and this is one of them. Well done - the color is spectacular.



Hello Filipe,
A splendid capture that shows fantastic colors and very fine details, also a very nice soft background that reall draws attention to the subject. :)

  • Great 
  • batu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1079 W: 293 N: 4497] (16383)
  • [2007-09-25 23:12]

Hola Filipe,
superb light, clarity and sharpness. Beautiful natural colours and perfect non-distracting background.
Best wishes, Peter

  • Great 
  • pirate Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 799 W: 152 N: 1186] (7474)
  • [2007-09-25 23:44]

Hi Filipe
crisp sharp with lovely BG and great square compo

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2007-09-26 0:53]

Hi Filipe,
Very good capture. Well done and TFS
Best wishes,

  • Great 
  • arunk Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 26 W: 0 N: 19] (272)
  • [2007-09-26 1:12]

Very good picture, sharp and bird looks very colourful but i feel the composition is very tight

Arun krishnaiah

  • Great 
  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2007-09-26 2:11]

Hi Filipe,

An excellent capture with good POV,you did a great job,well done and tfs


Hello Filipe, great focus with many detail on this fantastic shot, lovely colors very well satured, lovely pose and splendid composition,
well done,

Spectacular shot Filipe
Excellent sharpness and well composed.
Good background and eye contact.
Great exposure


Hello Filipe!
This is a very beautiful picture, not only because of the object - with thanks to colours is not that interesting, but also thanks to professional technique used by you. Details, DOF, sharpness, delicate BG and close POV are fantastic. It is a great pleasure to watch this photo :)
TFS and best greetings from Lodz,

So close and sharp.
Excellent pose
Good composition. I might have croppred out a little of the right thought (large irrelevant area there, which is better in front of the head)
We see the details even in the eyes. Wonderful.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2007-09-26 11:35]

Hello Filipe,
Perfect coloured Kingfisher in a very clear light. Sharpness is very good. Focus, POV compositon and BG are fantastic.
TFS, Peter

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2007-10-10 0:28]

Hi Filipe.
Brilliant shot of this beautiful picture. All components of the photo are outstanding. Bravo.

  • Great 
  • Ena Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 324 W: 61 N: 594] (2454)
  • [2007-10-11 16:18]

Hello, Filipe! Great photo with wonderful details!

This is another beauty. I can see I will have to start checking your gallery out more often. Your photos are wonderful.

Evelynn : )

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