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Kingfisher Kill

By TerryMcK  
Thank you for your pleasing response to yesterday's "Kestrel Check II." I very much appreciate your comments.

Dull, overcast skies here today were enough to bring me down... so I needed a boost with a look back to sunnier days.
This young Kingfisher is one of a family of (at least) four that remained resident at my local patch throughout the Summer. Taken on a beautiful September morning, the bird had just caught a fish. In the process of killing it, a spray of water can be seen as it sharply whipped the fish in its beak against the branch.
Note the Kingfisher's eye - I'm not sure if this is a kind of protective cover to prevent damage while going through the "despatching routine."
The rather large Large version displays quite well, if you have a moment to look.

Manual Exp F/5.6, 1/800, ISO 200, WB Daylight, 400/400mm handheld & enthralled

Tags: General Close-up and macro Wildlife and nature

Voters: Glostopcat, stuartbailey1963, mistysad and 61 more

Readers' Choice Awards are given to photos that get over 30 votes



Glostopcat 17 255 2 England
29 Dec 2009 8:53PM
A fabulous capture Terry, the detail and colours are wonderful
29 Dec 2009 8:57PM
great shot
pluckyfilly 16 351 33 United Kingdom
29 Dec 2009 9:05PM
I think I have read somewhere on these boards about the eye having a protective cover ask MossyVale I think it was him! He is very knowledgeable on the bird front - superb close up, fantastic to get the fish as well
taggart Plus
18 47 15 United States
29 Dec 2009 9:09PM
Was wondering about the eye, but I think you have the answer--- a super catch-- yours and the birds!
gary_d 15 576 13 Wales
29 Dec 2009 9:21PM
Timing just can't get better than this, an absolutely superb image. - gary
Maiwand 16 3 73 England
29 Dec 2009 9:22PM
Great capture Terry. Noted the eye. I suspect it may be a cover it places over the eye to prevent damoage when diving for food.
teocali Plus
15 442 18 England
29 Dec 2009 9:39PM
Fabulous capture Terry. Wonderful detail and iridescent plumage colouring. Great action as he bludgeons the fish. I think the membrane across the eye is also called the third eyelid and also the nictitating membrane - looked it up:- "Birds have special muscle and tendon arrangement whereby they can actively draw the nictitating membrane across the globe (from medial to lateral) . This action serves to distribute tears across the cornea and is important to anterior segment health similar to eyelid blinking in mammals."
TerryMcK Plus
14 72 2 United Kingdom
29 Dec 2009 9:46PM
Thanks to everyone for your response & to those who supplied info regarding the Kingfisher's eye -cover.
29 Dec 2009 10:08PM
Wonderful capture Terry - well done indeed

lianna 13 13 United Kingdom
29 Dec 2009 10:23PM
superb capture terry, truly fantastic x x x
Bob_V 15 1 2 United States
29 Dec 2009 10:45PM
Excellent capture Terry.
SurreyHillsMan 15 27 2 England
29 Dec 2009 11:04PM
Great timing Terry.. a lovely wildlife image

Steve_S Plus
17 183 3 United Kingdom
29 Dec 2009 11:12PM
Excellent capture Terry, great detail and colours
forestrich 16 2 United Kingdom
30 Dec 2009 1:20AM
Superb capture. Quality work

Daisymaye Plus
14 26 24 Canada
30 Dec 2009 2:03AM
Lovely detail and colour in this bird capture..........Sandy
CarolG 16 199 20 Greece
30 Dec 2009 5:54AM
Stunning, wonderful colours and detail, a cracking image, Terry. Carol
Jekaro 13 1 United Kingdom
30 Dec 2009 8:21AM
Simply stunning, Terry, fabulous colours and details.
Ray42 14 3 England
30 Dec 2009 8:26AM
A great shot Terry, and thanks to Ron and Sylvia I am more informed as well
tomcat 17 6.4k 15 United Kingdom
30 Dec 2009 8:46AM
cracking shot Terry

Re the see it all the time with the Dippers

30 Dec 2009 9:30AM
A very fine wildlife image Terry, beautifully captured.
barbarahirst 14 27 12 United Kingdom
30 Dec 2009 10:11AM
Great shot I am green with envy here
Cant even find one let alone get such detail and with food !!!!
forestfotos 13 4 3 United Kingdom
30 Dec 2009 10:21AM
A very very good action shot Terry. It's also very sharp and full of detail.
Dusan 13 Sri Lanka
30 Dec 2009 11:22AM
Excellent shot Terry.
TonyDy Plus
14 55 3 United Kingdom
30 Dec 2009 11:48AM
Lovely shot, well captured.
teocali Plus
15 442 18 England
30 Dec 2009 11:55AM

Quote:Cracking shot Terry

Re the see it all the time with the Dippers


I've noticed it quite a lote with the GSW as well.
Gezina 16 3 6 United Kingdom
30 Dec 2009 12:24PM
Lovely shot and great discription from Sylvia - I've seen it before in other Kingfishers and I think they also do it to protect their eye's when smashing the prey - the raptors use the membrane to protect their eye from direct sunlight - I've got a shot of the Black shouldered Kite using the membrane to that effect - Ina
sparrowhawk Plus
14 282 3 United Kingdom
30 Dec 2009 3:52PM
Roly 15 Wales
30 Dec 2009 4:48PM
Excellent colour and detail,well captured.
brownsilent 16 7 2 United Kingdom
30 Dec 2009 10:10PM
Another cracker!
Shroomer 16 14 167 England
30 Dec 2009 11:11PM
All birds use the membrane for different reasons. Kingfishers use it mainly for protection and also to alleviate the problem of defraction.
Nuthatches use it in the same way as Woodpeckers when drilling as protection. Basically as Sylvia say's a second eyelid.
Cracking capture
TerryMcK Plus
14 72 2 United Kingdom
31 Dec 2009 11:49AM
Thank you for the information regarding the bird's membrane, Richard.
And thanks to everyone else who also provided information.
31 Dec 2009 8:13PM
wow stunning detail, great shot Smile

HobbitDave Plus
14 10 10 England
2 Jan 2010 8:37PM
Gorgeous colours and detail, Terry.
Hope you and yours have a great 2010.

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