Woodland Kingfisher

Halcyon senegalensis

This intra-African migrant is a common sighting during the African summer and can be easily located by its loud, disticntive call. It’s red and black bill distinguishes it from the similar looking mangrove kingfisher. We first recorded this stunning kingfisher in December 2010 at Mount Grace Hotel in the Magaliesberg.

My best moment with this species took place in January 2013 at Mkhombo Dam Nature Reserve. Skye Hartog and I had seen a woodland kingfisher (on the opposite side of the game fence) flying into a nearby tree and dissapearing into its nest. We excitedly marked the spot hoping that we may get a few shots of the bird on our return trip (this time on the correct side of the fence).

After waiting at the nest for a few minutes, impatience got the better of me and I tried “spishing” to get the attention of a cape turtle dove that had also chosen the tree as its nesting site. As luck would have it, this was the perfect trick to get the woodland kingfisher out of the nest and available for photographs. Mental note, woodland kingfishers respond very well to “spishing”.


Woodland Kingfisher / Kololo Game Reserve, South Africa / 23 November 2013 Woodland Kingfisher / Zaagkuildrift to Kgomo Kgomo, South Africa / 10 February 2013 Woodland Kingfisher / Mkhombo Nature Reserve, South Africa / 11 January 2013 Woodland Kingfisher / Zaagkuildrift to Kgomo Kgomo, South Africa / 10 February 2013 Woodland Kingfisher / Mkhombo Nature Reserve, South Africa / 11 January 2013 Woodland Kingfisher / Mkhombo Nature Reserve, South Africa / 11 January 2013 Woodland Kingfisher / Mkhombo Nature Reserve, South Africa / 11 January 2013 Woodland Kingfisher / Zaagkuildrift to Kgomo Kgomo, South Africa / 10 February 2013 Woodland Kingfisher / Southern Kruger National Park, South Africa / 03 March 2012 Woodland Kingfisher / Zaagkuildrift to Kgomo Kgomo, South Africa / 10 February 2013 Woodland Kingfisher / Zaagkuildrift to Kgomo Kgomo, South Africa / 10 February 2013 Woodland Kingfisher / Mount Grace, Magalisberg, South Africa / 12 April 2010
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