Pied Kingfisher

Scientific Name:
Ceryle rudis
Sub-Saharan Africa
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About the Pied Kingfisher

The Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis) is a distinctive bird found across Africa and parts of Asia.


Pied Kingfishers are commonly found near water bodies such as rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, marshes, and coastal areas. They inhabit a wide range of aquatic habitats, including both freshwater and saltwater environments. These kingfishers are often seen perched on branches, poles, or wires near water, where they hunt for fish and other aquatic prey. They are also known to inhabit human-modified landscapes, including agricultural areas, dams, and canals.


Pied Kingfishers are medium-sized birds, measuring approximately 25 to 29 centimeters (10 to 11.5 inches) in length, with a wingspan of about 42 to 47 centimeters (16.5 to 18.5 inches). They have a compact body, a short tail, a large head, and a long, straight bill adapted for catching fish. Their plumage is predominantly black and white, with a black mask across the eyes, a white throat, breast, and belly, and black bands on the wings and tail. Best Viewing The best places to view Pied Kingfishers are in habitats with suitable water bodies and perching sites, such as rivers, lakes, and coastal areas. Look for them perched on branches, poles, or wires near the water's edge, where they scan for prey and dive into the water to catch fish. These kingfishers are often seen hovering over the water or performing aerial displays as they hunt for food.