The giant kingfisher is 42?48 cm (16?-18? inches) 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.

Habitat and Distribution

The giant kingfisher 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.


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


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

Calls and Songs

The call is a loud wak wak wak.