Conservation status: Amber

Kingfishers are small unmistakable bright blue and orange birds of slow moving or still water. They fly rapidly, low over water, and hunt fish from riverside perches, occasionally hovering above the water's surface. They are vulnerable to hard winters and habitat degradation through pollution or unsympathetic management of watercourses. Kingfishers are amber listed because of their unfavourable conservation status in Europe.



Latin name

Alcedo atthis


Kingfishers (Alcedinidae)

Where to see them

They are widespread, especially in central and southern England, becoming less common further north but following some declines last century, they are currently increasing in their range in Scotland. Kingfishers are found by still or slow flowing water such as lakes, canals and rivers in lowland areas. In winter, some individuals move to estuaries and the coast. Occasionally they may visit garden ponds if of a suitable size.

When to see them

All year round.

What they eat

Fish and aquatic insects.


EuropeUK breeding*UK wintering*UK passage*
-3,800-4,600 pairs--




Marco Dragonetti, Xeno-canto