These wily little fellows are often seen in our riverine habitat. Their colourful plumes are always a fabulous surprise in the Karoo. Often I hear guests commenting on the occurrence of kingfisher in our region. These are the Brown-hooded kingfisher and they do not feed on fish but eat mainly insects and lizards and sometimes young of other birds.
Sometimes we see them solitary but here is a beautiful photograph of a pair photographed by Mark Drysdale, who was at Samara doing a photographic safari in August this year.
They will breed in holes in trees or banks, from September to December. So now after the spring rains we should be seeing more breeding pairs. Two to five eggs are incubated by the female for about 14 days. And then some little juveniles with their bills all brown to start off with will appear!
The call is a descending trill ‘Ki-ti-ti-ti’ – It sounds like “Pity for me” repeated rapidly which is how we know that they are there before we even spot them.
Thank you Mark for the magnificent photos.