Albino Malachite Kingfisher spotted by ZSL conservationist
Monday 13 March 2006
Rob Poppe, ZSL field conservation manager, has spotted an incredibly rare albino malachite kingfisher in Uganda.
Malachite kingfishers are commonly found throughout Africa from Senegal and Gambia, east to Ethiopia and Somalia, south to South Africa.
However, discovering an albino form, that is lacking normal pigmentation, is a rare occurrence indeed. Rob Poppe confirmed that the species has all the characteristics and habits of a regular malachite:
'It fishes in the same manner and for the same prey as a malachite kingfisher.
Its habitat is in the Semliki River close to Lake Edward and would appear to have a territory of about 300 yards along the river.'
The malachite kingfisher is generally found in vegetation around lakes and rivers and feeds on anything from prawns and crabs to inset larvae.
The sexes are similar and the birds nest in holes excavated by both sexes in earth. They are monogamous and also territorial.