Known for living within woodland and coastal forest areas, the African pygmy kingfisher is one of the many bird species you will find flying around Elaleni Coastal Forest Estate.


With vibrant colours, from a violet blue back to a rufous underbelly, you can’t help but notice this small bird flying from tree to tree. When compared to the malachite kingfisher, the African pygmy kingfisher is smaller in size and has a violet wash on their ear coverts.


The African pygmy kingfisher rarely eats fish, instead it mainly feeds on insects like crickets, butterflies, grasshoppers, flies and beetles. When looking for food, this little bird hunts by sitting on a perch, once it locates the prey, it swoops in to grab it and flies back to its perch.


The African pygmy kingfisher is an intra-African breeding migrant, which means it arrives in Southern Africa around September and October, and later leaves in March when the breeding season is over to other parts of Africa.


While you meander through Elaleni, watching for birds, you will normally find the African pygmy kingfisher singly or in pairs, but on the most part it is secretive and unobstrusive.