As small as quick, blue bolt passing by the river low over the surface. Electric flash with loud tjjjiiih as a battle cry. On the other hand calm as a water which he's watching, waiting for the prey with unlimited patience. Ready to strike down in one short dive caching the fish before she can even realize what happened.
The Kingfisher (no me gusta nada el nombre que pusieron los ingleses... ) is a resident of almost whole Europe, south Asia and some of them during the winter cross the Mediterranean into north Africa. When the cold comes and ice keeps the water closed they have to travel even over 3000km to find their place to stay.
During the rest of the year, hunting by their home river they highly territorial. Each one needs up to 5 km of privacy. That's because of the hunger, quick movements cost energy. One bird eats almost 60% of it's body weight each day. This explains why Kingfisher isn't so social, solitary most of the year. Fights between them occurs and they are very serious about that. Especially when one try to drown another.
They can live up to 20 years, but the world isn't that sweet. Only 25% survive from one breeding season to another and very few of them live longer then one. The young ones are highly selected as well, from 100 eggs no more than 10 becomes a beautiful blue bird. Most of them die of cold and lack of food. Winter kills them by it own frosty hands or they can't stay the difficult travel. And after all of those there is one bonus – humans. Killing Kingfishers for fun, feathers or just because of thinking that they can eat all fish at all.
Evolution is slow, but it does great job making a perfect hunter from this little bird. Kingfishers spots the prey by the eyes – which are just made for this. Polarization “coating” cuts off the reflex of the water, cells of the retina with more pigments enhancing color and reducing glare. By the way the retina by itself can switch into “air” and “under water” mode what keeps the vision sharp wherever the bird is. Egg-shaped lens of the eye makes the bird see under the water almost as good as fish does...
Such an interesting thing that even has a legends and stories on his account.
In Greek mythology there is a story of the women changed by gods into the Kingfisher, so she can keep on searching for her lost husband.
Another tell says that gods punished two lovers by changing them into this bird. Then, always when they tried do build a nest the sea level was rising to destroy it. But the gods weren't that bad at all. Once an every year they set the sea calm so they birds could have their time. It happens every year in “kingfisher days” always one week before the day when night is as long as the day.
Because of that story Greeks believes that Kingfisher can control the water and the sea, so they made it as a symbol which should protect their ships.