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Giant Kingfisher | Megaceryle maximus

The Giant Kingfisher is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Cerylidae bird family group which includes birds such as Cerylid Kingfishers.

The description for the Giant Kingfisher (Latin name Megaceryle maximus) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Megaceryle maximus can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 429 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 183. You will find a picture of the Giant Kingfisher on page 193.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. The Latin name for this bird is Megaceryle maxima in the Roberts 6th Edition.

The Giant Kingfisher is known in Afrikaans as Reusevisvanger.

The Giant Kingfisher has a height of 42 cms and weighs around 350 gms. The head is coloured black while the bill is coloured black. The Megaceryle maximus has a white coloured throat, black legs and a grey coloured back. The eyes are brown.

The male Megaceryle maximus has physical features that are slightly different from the female bird.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is black

Eyes are brown

Bill is black

Legs are black

Throat is white

Back is grey

Feeding Habits ...

This birds forages for fish and other aquatic dwellers through surface sizing and diving for food in the water.

This bird has a specially adapted bill which helps it hunt for fish, crabs, shrimp and other aquatic animals in the water.

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Giant Kingfisher is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 3 to 5 eggs and they are coloured white.

The bird builts its nest in a hole in the ground.

The Giant Kingfisher is found in the Southern African wetlands, riverine forests and moist grasslands.

The bird is at home in riverine forests and close to water bodies such as lakes, dams and streams

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Giant Kingfisher is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.

The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."

copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105

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