Birds of Namibia
Introduction: Half-collared kingfishers (Alcedo semitorquata) inhabit regions with characteristic clear, fast-flowing perennial streams, rivers and estuaries, which are both narrow and secluded. These areas are associated with dense but marginal vegetation. They can often be observed near rapids. These kingfishers are mainly resident, usually only moving locally in their habitat range. Both widespread but uncommon they are found solitary or in pairs and are fairly shy creatures.
Perching locations are restricted to low lying features such as reeds, branches, exposed roots, rocks and on tree stumps. They are comfortable being in sun or shade and fly fast and low over the water, often taking short cuts over trees.
Diet: Mainly fish which is carried back to the perch for consumption, such as tilapia, robbers, crabs, aquatic insects and amphibians.
Description: The name semitorquata is Greek for half-collared, hence the name. They are often confused with the Malachite kingfisher even though it is smaller and has a darker bill.
Breeding: Nests are made in river banks by both sexes in river territory of at least 1km. Between 2 and 5 eggs are laid between September and October with an incubation period of around 16 days.
Size: 18cm. Weight: 35 to 40g.
In the town of Opuwo this lodge has beautiful views over Kaokoland - a real desert oasis