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How to See Kingfishers | Kingfisher Art Studies

Despite their bright shock of electric-blue and orange feathers, it can be difficult to spot a kingfisher in the wild. I built an entire kingfisher bank so that I could watch them up close. Click here to read about what I discovered. If you simply want to be sure of seeing one next time you are out walking, here are a few tips.

Look for them along rivers and streams

Kingfishers live along clean waterways, so start your search here.

Head out early

Kingfishers are particularly active in early morning so get up and out with the lark. You are also most likely to see them in spring and summer when they are most active.

Listen out for their calls

You’ll often hear the piercing ‘peep-peep’ of a kingfisher before you see it. If you hear this sound stop and look. Kingfishers have an extraordinarily straight flight, so look along the waterway for the dart of blue.

Look Up

Kingfisher habitually return to favourite perches to fish from, so scan any protruding twigs and branches that hang over the water.

Be patient

Anglers often see kingfishers because they sit quietly by riverbanks for long periods.

Don’t get too close

Remember, kingfishers are a Schedule 1 Bird, and it is illegal to disturb them at their nest site without a special licence from Natural England.


Read More:

My extensive studies have led to a wide collection of kingfisher paintings. Take a look at it here:

My Collection of Kingfisher Paintings

I wanted to watch kingfishers up close and to discover what happened inside their nest so I built a bespoke hide. Below is what I discovered and how I built the hide. 

When Kingfishers Disappear Underground | Kingfisher Art Study

How I Built an Artifical Bank to Film Kingfishers Underground | Kingfisher Art Studies

Kingfishers might be one of Britain’s most beautiful birds, but they need our help. Here’s five reasons why and what you can do to help:

5 Challenges Kingfishers Face & How to Help Them

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