The Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)

Common Name (in English) The Common Kingfisher
(in Chinese) 普通翠鳥
Scientific Name (in Latin) Alcedo atthis
Peculiar characteristics / external features: This sparrow-sized bird has the typical short-tailed, large-headed kingfisher profile; it has blue upperparts, orange underparts and a long bill.
Distributions: The common kingfisher is widely distributed over Europe, Asia, and North Africa, mainly south of 60°N. It is a common breeding species over much of its vast Eurasian range, but in North Africa it is mainly a winter visitor, although it is a scarce breeding resident in coastal Morocco and Tunisia. In temperate regions, this kingfisher inhabits clear, slow-flowing streams and rivers, and lakes with well-vegetated banks.
Dietary Kingfishers feed on a wide variety of prey. They are most famous for hunting and eating fish, and some species do specialise in catching fish, but other species take crustaceans, frogs and other amphibians, annelid worms, molluscs, insects, spiders, centipedes, reptiles (including snakes), and even birds and mammals.
Reproductive (Solitary/Social/Territorial, Courtship Behavior, Taking care of youngs, etc) Like all kingfishers, the common kingfisher is highly territorial; since it must eat around 60% of its body weight each day, it is essential to have control of a suitable stretch of river. It is solitary for most of the year, roosting alone in heavy cover. If another kingfisher enters its territory, both birds display from perches, and fights may occur, in which a bird will grab the other’s beak and try to hold it under water. Pairs form in the autumn but each bird retains a separate territory, generally at least 1 km 0.62 mi) long, but up to 3.5 km and territories are not merged until the spring. The courtship is initiated by the male chasing the female while calling continually, and later by ritual feeding, with copulation usually following. The glossy white eggs are laid in a nest at the end of a burrow in a riverbank.
Whatever appropriate This species has a large range, with an estimated global extent of occurrence of 10 million square kilometres (3.8 million square miles). It has a large population, including an estimated 160,000–320,000 individuals in Europe alone. Global population trends have not been quantified, but populations appear to be stable so the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e., declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations).
Interesting Fact: The Common Kingfisher feeds mainly on fish, caught by diving, and has special visual adaptations to enable it to see prey under water. It bobs its head when food is detected to gauge the distance, and plunges steeply down to seize its prey usually no deeper than 25 cm below the surface. The wings are opened under water and the open eyes are protected by the transparent third eyelid. The bird rises beak-first from the surface and flies back to its perch.