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Halfcollared Kingfisher

Bird of the Month is the Halfcollared Kingfisher (Alcedo semitorquada).

This rare bird species has been sighted by some of members with riverfront properties on the Magalies River, and elsewhere, on a number of occasions. Anyone in the Oori, or along the Jukskei, Hennops or Crocodile Rivers have a similar experience?

Halfcollared Kingfisher (Alcedo semitorquada)

Colouring: Iris brown; bill black; legs and feet orange to coral red; above bright blue; white eyeline; blue half collar on sides of chest; scaled blue-black on breast.
Voice: Shrill teep or tseep-tseep; apip-ip-ip-ip-peep alarm call.
Distribution: Gauteng, Northern Province, Limpopo (except dry western catchment areas) coastal regions of Natal and Eastern Cape.
Habitat: Fast-flowing perennial streams, rivers and estuaries, usually with dense marginal vegetation.
Habits: Usually solitary. Perches low down on branches or rock over water; rarely hovers. Filght fast, low and direct; after landing raises and lowers head and flicks tail.
Food: Fish, crabs, insects.
Breeding season: September to March.
Clutch: 11 white, glossy eggs.
Incubation and fledging: Just over 16 days by both sexes. Nestling: About 27 days, fed by both parents.

Both photographs are courtesy of Rob Villarini.


Gordon Lindsay Maclean: Roberts’ Birds of Southern Africa, Sixth Edition. 1993.
Kenneth Newman: Newman’s Birds by Colour. 2000.