Kingfishers are famous for their speedy river dives and, maybe for their influence on Japan’s high-speed trains, too, but this video by British wildlife artist Robert E. Fuller shares a different side of their story:
“Kingfishers are solitary birds and have to overcome a natural aversion to one another in order to come together to breed. Their courtship can have an underlying tension as they move awkwardly around one another.”
Can this be seen inside their earthen burrow as they care for their newly hatched babies?
“In this clip, the male is brooding five-day-old chicks. The female (identifiable by her orange lower bill) enters with a fish for the chicks. Watch the male recoil as she enters – the pair have a frosty relationship!”
Watch their interactions within Fuller’s artfully-made kingfisher nest, set adjacent to a river. To observe the species’ underground behaviors, he outfitted the chamber with cameras. From his site, regarding a previous nest observation:
“I enjoy watching the adults’ brooding and smile at the writhing pink chaos of limbs poking out from under their feathers. On occasion, the parent’s short legs lose touch with the floor and they are transported around the nest chamber as if crowd-surfing. Most nights, both adults roost in the nest with their chicks beneath them, their long beaks resting along one another’s backs.”
Previously on TKSST: The kingfisher’s gaze stabilization
Bonus: More nest videos.