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Alcedo atthis

Map of the common names


Small (L 16 cm) and unmistakable bird because of its colours: flashes green-blue back and red-orange bellow; dagger-shaped bill. Kingfisher occurs on clear flowing rivers and streams, also at times at ponds, small ditches and seashores. Summer territories must include a bank of sandy or clay soil for nest-burrow excavation. The species feed principally on small fish, but also takes aquatic insects. Partial migrant.

Watercolour by Serge Nicolle

Reasons for the need for protection/inclusion in annex I

Its range has expanded this century, but populations have recently fallen in several countries. The effects of hard winters can outweigh all other threats to Kingfishers' survival. Chemical and biological pollution of rivers, the canalization of streams, the clearance of emergent vegetation and human persecution are also highly detrimental to the species.

Distribution map

yellow = summer visitor
green = resident
blue = winter visitor

Population : 20,000 / 60,000 pairs

Drawing by Manuel Manolos

back to list of threatened species