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What am I?

I’m a bit of an odd one out!

Where do I come from?

Some of us migrate down river towards the coast for winter, so the colder months are the best time to see us near the sea.

A bit about me

I am stunning, if I may say so myself, with bright blue and orange feathers, and a large, pointed bill. You can find me year-round in still or slow-moving water habitats such as lakes, canals, and rivers, where I hunt for fish and aquatic insects from perches. You’ll most likely see me as a flash of dazzling blue swooping past or diving into the water. Unlike most birds, we don’t build nests but dig out tunnels in sandy riverbanks instead. I am the only kingfisher species found in the UK and, despite the name, many of my relatives worldwide don’t even eat fish!

Local spotlight

I’m fairly widespread across the Solent.

Conservation status

I’m amber listed in the UK

My name might not be listed in the Solent’s Special Protection Areas but I am still definitely important for the coastal ecosystem and form part of the waterbird assemblages which these regions are protected for.

Fun fact

To survive, I must eat my own body weight in fish every day!