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Kingfisher Dive Bombs Monitor Lizard

A hungry monitor lizard attempts to raid the nest of a breeding pair of kingfishers, but the kingfisher dive bombs the monitor lizard forcing it to swim off.

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“As I stood at the Crocodile Bridge Gate in Kruger National Park, I couldn’t believe my eyes. A big monitor lizard was trying to get to the nest of a pair of mating Pied Kingfishers. I quickly grabbed my binoculars to get a closer look.”

Pied Kingfishers are fascinating birds that can be found all over Africa and parts of Asia. These birds are easily identifiable by their striking black and white plumage. They are known for their hovering flight pattern, where they can stay in one spot for an extended period of time, waiting to spot their prey.


“The lizard was making its way through the brush and onto the sandbank, determined to get to the nest. The Pied Kingfishers were not far off when they noticed the threat approaching. They immediately made their way over to the lizard.”

Kingfisher dive bombs a monitor lizard to save its eggs

Male kingfishers will build a nest and then begin calling out to the female. When she arrives, they will begin a unique courtship dance in which the male will fly around the female, showing off his feathers and calling out to her. Once they mate, the female will lay her eggs in the nest, and both parents will take turns incubating them.

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Kingfisher dive bombs monitor lizard

“The pair of birds began dive-bombing the lizard in a consistent effort to chase it off. It was a battle of determination between two different species. Every time the lizard made progress, the birds would come down, forcing it to change direction.”

Pied Kingfishers are also known for their nesting habits. They prefer to nest along riverbanks, where they can easily catch fish to feed their young. The nest is usually made up of twigs and feathers. The female will lay between 3-6 eggs. Once the eggs hatch, both parents will continue to care for their young, bringing them fish and teaching them how to fly.

“In the end, they defeated the lizard, and it retreated to the crocodile river. Perhaps in search of an easier meal to satiate its belly.”

Written by Mohammed Kathrada

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