Giant Kingfisher

Megaceryle maximus

So who is the largest of them all?

Giant kingfishers have a special place in my heart. Their loud, harsh ‘kakh kah kahk’ call brings back many incredible memories of the African bush; from sundowners with my gorgeous wife on the banks of the Kunene River in northern Namibia, to epic canoe rides down the Umngazi River in the Eastern Cape, to family 4×4 adventures in the heart of the Tsavo East National Park in Kenya.
This is what birding and photography is all about! Unforgettable Memories! Sights and sounds that remind you of special moments with family and friends.

But being a true African icon is not all this kingfisher is famous for; it is also the world’s largest kingfisher. Measuring between 40 and 45cm and weighing in at around 355 grams, it is the jumbo jet of the family.
And in my eyes, it is also the most memorable. Not just because of its size and noisy arrival but also because of the way you distinguish males from females. Males wear red shirts while females wear red skirts. And that’s how they roll….

We first recorded this species in January 2010 in Ocean View on the south coast of KwaZulu Natal. I never get tired of seeing this huge kingfisher with its striking chestnut breast.


Giant Kingfisher / Rietvlei Nature Reserve, South Africa / 19 October 2013 Giant Kingfisher / Kunene River, Northern Namibia / 14 July 2012 Giant Kingfisher / Rietvlei Nature Reserve, South Africa / 19 October 2013 Giant Kingfisher / Kunene River, Northern Namibia / 14 July 2012 Giant Kingfisher / Giant’s Castle, Central Drakensberg, South Africa / October 2017 Giant Kingfisher / Rietvlei Nature Reserve, South Africa / 19 October 2013 Giant Kingfisher / Umngazi River Bungalows, South Africa / 13 September 2013 Giant Kingfisher / Giant’s Castle, Central Drakensberg, South Africa / October 2017 Giant Kingfisher / Rietvlei Nature Reserve, South Africa / 19 October 2013 Giant Kingfisher / Umngazi River Bungalows, South Africa / 13 September 2013 Giant Kingfisher / Rietvlei Nature Reserve, South Africa / 19 October 2013 Giant Kingfisher / Kunene River, Northern Namibia / 14 July 2012 Giant Kingfisher / Mzima Springs, Tsavo West National Park, Kenya / 15 September 2011 Giant Kingfisher / Kunene River, Northern Namibia / 14 July 2012 Giant Kingfisher / Kunene River, Northern Namibia / 14 July 2012 Giant Kingfisher / Crake Road, Zaagkuildrift, South Africa / 24 February 2012
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