Feeding with fish: Kingfisher´s wedding gift

EisvogelA clear winter day. The alders and willows along the small stream are covered with hoarfrost. Wafts of mist rise from the slow-flowing water in the cold air. But then a whistle permeates the silence, and suddenly an azure flash of lightning rushes just above the surface of the water, once more a whistle, and then it is gone again.

Later, in spring I go to the same place and I’m curious if the Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) has reoccupied its territory. When I approach the embankment, I already hear the chirping calls of two kingfishers in display. Standing behind a tree, I watch them with my binoculars. The male, recognizable by the black beak, flies off and it takes five minutes until I hear his whistle and he’s back with a little fish in his long pointed beak. Immediately he hands the prey over to the female with whirring wings and excited calls.

The next day I come back, but now with my camera. I bring the 400mm lens, the Canon EF 400mm f / 2.8L IS II USM. Despite the professional image stabilizer of the Canon L-series, I build it on the tripod. I’m considering adding an external fill-in flash; but then renounce it. I camouflage myself and the equipment with a camouflage cover and wait for what might happen. Suddenly I hear the whistle and already a kingfisher sits on the branch, this time the female. I take some pictures and hope that – despite the short time and the long exposure times – I will succeed in taking some photos from the series.

The male kingfisher announces himself with a whistle and flies directly to the kingfisher lady, and through the viewfinder of the camera, I see that he has brought a “bride gift”. A nice success!

Kingfishers prefer clear, calm waters with many small fish. You can see them by rivers, canals, drainage ditches and fish ponds. I’ve already met him in the middle of a business park on a rainwater retention basin, a small, densely reeded lake, where I would not have expected it.

To cope with the growing demand for top shots of the rarer species of the Palearctic Bird-Lens is keen to enrich the range of pictures of birds you can find in the western palearctic. Trips even to remote places to capture images of rare birds of western palearctic were very successful. Beside the image above you can find a nice selection of birds in the “Picture Shop” very soon. Just give a message, if Bird-Lens could serve you with an image needed before the new pictures are online.


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