This stunning image captures the moment some kingfisher chicks were lined up to learn essential survival skills from their parents at an RSPB nature reserve in Yorkshire. A kingfisher family has been delighting visitors to RSPB Fairburn Ings, Castleford , allowing close up views of them flying, fishing and squabbling.
Laura Bentley, from RSPB Fairburn Ings says: “Most people would be lucky to see one Kingfisher in their lifetime, let alone several together. In the cold harsh winter our lakes and ponds were frozen solid for months so we were very worried for our kingfishers not being able to get enough food. But seeing a whole, healthy looking family is a great sign.”
At various points throughout the day, a total of five Kingfishers were seen fishing together and perching in a line on the same branch, learning how to fish from their parents. In this picture, the bird with its back to the camera is believed to be the adult male. Kingfishers are small unmistakable bright blue and orange birds and are usually seen around slow moving or still water. They fly rapidly, low over the water, and hunt fish from riverside perches, occasionally hovering above the water's surface. They are vulnerable to hard winters and loss of habitat through pollution or management of watercourses not sympathetic to wildlife. Kingfishers are amber listed because of their unfavourable conservation status in Europe.
For more information about kingfisher hotspots, visit www.rspb.org.uk/reserves.
Photo credit: Oliver C Wright