Kingfishers hunt by hovering above the water or sitting on a perch and looking down on the lake or river they are fishing in.

As their name suggests, kingfishers mainly eat fish, but they will also take freshwater invertebrates and tadpoles.

Their closest relatives are bee-eaters, rollers and the hoopoe – all colourful birds but only some of which have the beautiful iridescent plumage of our kingfisher.

When a pair are courting, the male will bring the female fish and try and feed them to her. It may take many attempts before he can successfully mate!

Kingfisher pairs dig a tunnel in river banks, with a small chamber at the end in which to lay their eggs.

They lay 5-7 eggs and their hungry brood may need over 100 fish a day to survive!

Their call is a thin whistle – they have no song.

Some Japanese bullet trains are modelled on the aerodynamic design on a kingfisher’s beak.

The blue colour of a kingfisher does not come from pigment (as the orange does), but from the way light refracts off their feathers. It is this same process that makes water appear blue.

Kingfishers are amber listed – they are particularly affected by wet spring weather which can cause their nests to flood and cold winters which cause adults to perish.

Discover more with your local Wildlife Trust: