Alcedo Atthis – Kingfisher

23 January 2021

There are many different Kingfishers spread all over the World. In the Netherlands and Belgium however, there’s only one representative of the Alcedinidae family and that’s Alcedo Atthis.

Alcedo Atthis (Common Kingfisher)

A fast and fierce but very shy little bird, with beautiful bright blue and orange colours. Because they’re so incredibly fast, they are not easy to keep track of let alone to make a good photo of one when in flight.
I always feel that this rare bird, although it is getting more and more common, thanks to the moderate Winters, is not in the right place. Such colours I believe, belong to the tropics or at least to warmer parts of the world. That’s probably why it’s such a popular bird and so many people are trying to get a glance at this lovely bird.

Alcedo_Atthis Common_Kingfisher Kingfisher
Alcedo Atthis
(Common Kingfisher)

From a special bird hide-out, near a known population of kingfishers, I saw a setting with a fish tank in the middle of a pond. Next to it a branch for Kingfishers to sit on. Every morning fresh fish is thrown in this fish tank and every day the Kingfishers will come and eat all the fish.
It provides a lovely opportunity to study and capture these birds while diving for their daily meal, but I’m wondering whether this is maybe a step too far, just to please people so that they can see a Kingfisher. What’s your opinion on this matter, is it too much or should the kingfishers be happy with the easy fish?




Great photos! Hope to see a kingfisher soon as well, no luck so far.
Is feeding the kingfisher with fish and you making pictures, any different from me hanging up peanut butter and nuts etc to watch a woodpecker and other birds eat from it?

Win win? You don’t capture them (except on camera) and they can choose not to come. Not sure if it will impact their natural skills of hunting fish and finding good natural fishing spots though.

Hi there Koen, Thanks for such a quick comment, since I just put the website online.
Thanks for the compliment. The fish in the tank is hardly enough for a days supply, so they need to go fish elsewhere as well, No, I don’t believe it will affect their fishing skills, but you’re making a good point… It’s perhaps not much different from a bird feeder. I think I got carried away a little with the whole concept. To me the question arose… what will people do to animals… just for a nice capture or sighting? (that’s what you probably get spending a whole day isolated in the bush.) Well, thanks again, don’t be a stranger, check -in every now and then.