Giant Kingfishers

Kingfisher Information ... Kingfisher Species Photo Gallery

Giant Kingfisher (Megaceryle maxima)

Giant Kingfisher The Giant Kingfisher (Megaceryle maxima) is the largest kingfisher in Africa, 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.

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.

Giant Kingfisher (Megaceryle maxima) Breeding / Nesting

Breeding is from August to January, 3–5 eggs being laid in a riverbank tunnel.

Calls / Vocalizations

The call is a loud wak wak wak.

Diet / Feeding

This large species feeds on crabs, fish, and frogs, caught in the typical kingfisher way by a dive from a perch.


  • BirdLife International (2004). Megaceryle maxima. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) 2006. Retrieved on 11 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern.
  • C H Fry and Kathie Fry; illustrated by Alan Harris (2000). Kingfishers, Bee-eaters and Rollers. Princeton University Press. International Standard Book Number (ISBN) 0691048797.

Copyright: Wikipedia. This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from ... Additional information and photos added by Avianweb.

Giant Kingfisher (Megaceryle maxima) Giant Kingfisher (Megaceryle maxima)

Giant Kingfisher Giant Kingfisher breaking the crab armor

Giant Kingfisher (Megaceryle maxima)

Giant Kingfisher (Megaceryle maxima)

Please Note: The articles or images on this page are the sole property of the authors or photographers. Please contact them directly with respect to any copyright or licensing questions. Thank you.