Photographer's Note

The Malachite Kingfisher is a river kingfisher which is widely distributed in Africa south of the Sahara. It is largely resident except for seasonal climate related movements.

This is a small kingfisher, 13 cm in length. The general colour of the upper parts of the adult bird is bright metallic blue. The head has a short crest of black and blue feathers, which gives rise to the scientific name.

This is a common species of reeds and rank vegetation near slow moving water or ponds. The flight of the Malachite Kingfisher is rapid, the short rounded wings whirring until they appear a mere blur. It usually flies low over water.

The bird has regular perches or stands from which it fishes. It sits upright, its tail pointed downwards. It drops suddenly with a splash and usually returns at once with a struggling captive.

The nest is a tunnel in a sandy bank, usually, though not always, over water. Both birds excavate. There is no nest, but three or four clutches of 3-6 round white eggs are placed on a litter of fish bones and disgorged pellets.


I took this shot in the Okavango Delta, in Botswana.

We were on a moving boat. Considering the high mobility of the kingfisher, I had to take several shots. Due to the full-frame nature of my camera I also needed to crop the picture, I increased sharpness and applied Neat Image to deal with the grains.

Exif: 400mm, 200 ASA, f/8.0, 1/500, -1/3 exposure compensation.

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Additional Photos by Erdem Kutukoglu (Suppiluliuma) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 266 W: 105 N: 604] (3931)
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