KINGFISHER

This is a small bird, a little bigger than a sparrow. The top of body is bright bluish-green with small light spots on the head and on the wings. The bottom is reddish-ginger; there is a light stripe going from eyes to the back of the neck. The head is massive with long and straight beak; the wing and the tail are short. The bird motionlessly sits over the water with its beak downwards or flies low over the water frequently beating its wings. The voice is a thread of a whistle-like sound ‘peek-peek’. The kingfisher is a solitary bird.

Generally it feeds on small fish not bigger than 6 cm in length, less frequently – on water invertebrates.
The bird is typical for the forest-steppe and steppe areas of the region. In can be found near Kansk, Krasnoyarsk, Achinsk, Minusinsk, in Yenisei upstream and its tributaries (Abakan, Tuba), lower course of Kebezh River, at Mozharsky Lakes as well as alongside Chuna River (the tributary of Angara). It is a rare bird. It inhabits shores of clear water basins as well as lagoons with slow current.

The nests are made in burrows which the bird digs in steep coastal cliffs, usually in close proximity to water. The 0.3-1 meter long nest is horizontal. The egg-set consists of 5-8 bright white eggs. The kingfisher’s nest is lined with fish scales and bones. It is swarmed with fly larvae and can be distinguished by bad smell as well as by water flow which the bird “squeezes” out of itself when it flies in a burrow.

The kingfisher flies in the region in the second half of May. The breeding takes place in late May or first half of June (sometimes in July). The flying off is in the end of August.

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CRESTED KINGFISHER

The bird belongs to coraciiformes family. It is notable for its bigger size, the crest on the head and black-and-white coloration.

The basic food is water insects and their maggots, small fish and shellfish.
In Russia, the bird nests at Kunashir Island and can be encountered at Shikotan Island during the migration period. It populates rapid mountain rivers in middle and lower courses with rocky bottom, rifts and stretches, steep sand and clay-sand shores rich in small fish. It also inhabits shores of certain lakes (Peschanoye Lake) where mountain rivers inflow into the lakes.

The bird makes its nests in burrows dub in steep mountain river shores, less frequently – in steep seashores near rives. There are up to 7 eggs in a set.
The species is in Russia’s Red List (3rd category).