The beautiful iridescent plumage of the kingfisher makes it one of our most colourful and instantly recognisable birds; despite this it is rarely seen due to its shy nature (2). The upperparts are bright blue, while the underparts are a rich chestnut-red (4), although if seen in flight these colours may not be very obvious (8). The bill is very long and dagger-like (4). Although the sexes are generally similar, in breeding pairs they can be distinguished by the bill; in females it has a red base, whereas in males it is completely black (2). Although similar to adults, juveniles have duller, greener plumage (2).
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