The Giant Kingfisher
) is the largest kingfisher
, where it is a resident breeding bird over most of the continent south of the Sahara Desert
other than the arid southwest.
There are two subspecies, M. m. maxima
, found in open country, and M. m. gigantea
in the rainforest. The forest race is darker, less spotted above, and more barred below than maxima
, but the two forms intergrade along the forest edge zone.
Breeding is from August to January, 3–5 eggs being laid in a riverbank tunnel.
Giant Kingfisher is 42–48 cm long, with a large crest and finely spotted white on black
upperparts. The male has a chestnut breast band and otherwise white underparts with dark flank barring, and the female has a white-spotted black breast band and chestnut belly.
The call is a loud wak wak wak
This large species feeds on crabs
, and frogs
, caught in the typical kingfisher way by a dive from a perch.
- Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern.