Oh what splendour

One of the treats of a healthy wetland reserve is that there will most likely be a resident Kingfisher. Intaka Island in Century City provides such a treat as it has a resident pair of Malachite Kingfishers.

Malachite Kingfisher10

To add to the beauty of these colourful little birds, they have successfully bred three chicks. It has been an interesting few months watching these chicks grow up. There was a lot of excitement when they first ventured from their nesting hole.

Adults are recognised by a red beak and juveniles by their black beaks.

Junior MK2

Many mornings were spent watching the chicks perched on reeds calling for food. The parents would come and deliver little fish and then fly off to catch the next meal. Often I would only see glimpses of this feeding as the reed beds are quite dense and the Kingfishers don’t always come out in the open areas of the wetland.

Then they started practicing to dive into the water, first to bath and then to learn to catch a meal.

The chicks are now fully functional and have even started hunting on their own. They seem to function completely independently from their parents.

Malachite Kingfisher5

These Kingfishers fly incredibly fast and it is often difficult getting a great pic unless they perch right in front of the bird hide. It is only a matter of time before these chicks grow up and the parents force them to leave the area.

Until then I hope to photograph these chicks in all their splendour.

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