Zambia: Kafue NP – Malachite Kingfisher

Here’s another super spectacular little bird – malachite kingfisher. The plumage is bright blue metallic and getting to spot or even photograph this tiny guy isn’t easy. It is one of the smallest kingfishers and is by far the most brightly colored. They feed exclusively on fish and we got to witness the entire fishing process. Malachite kingfishers typically sit still on a branch near the water and intensely observe and watch for the fish swimming. Then they drop-dive into the water with a splash and come out with a fish in their bill, usually almost the size of the bird itself. They return to the perch and here the process of killing the fish begins – they hit and smack it against the branch and sometimes throw it in the air and catch again. The next step is repositioning the fish with its head point into the kingfisher’s throat, at which point they usually swallow them whole. This is totally insane!