Kingfisher

A paper mache kingfisher

Mrs Kingfisher
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Mrs Kingfisher

£50.00

An original hand-made, one-off, sculpture – paper mache, wire and acrylic – she stands 85mm tall and 160mm long. Price includes P&P to UK addresses. THIS IS NOT A TOY!

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A paper mache kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) just because it’s fun to make paper mache birds!

I sometimes see kingfishers on the Thames and by the lakes and stream near my home. If I’m lucky I see them perched, but usually I know of them is an electric blue streak as they whizz past at speed, emitting a distinctive short sharp whistle as they go.

This is Mrs Kingfisher. You can tell the difference between the sexes as the females have red on their lower mandible. You won’t ever see them in large numbers – they need to eat 60% of their own bodyweight in small fish every day, so it’s vital that they have a large enough territory to do this. They only come together to raise chicks. The common kingfisher has an very wide distribution – from Europe right down to Indonesia – and can tolerate living quite close to humans, so it is not endangered, as so many other species are.

In folklore, the kingfisher is said to be the harbinger of prosperity and love. The kingfisher is sometimes known as the halcyon. You may have heard of the expression ‘halcyon days’… This comes from a Greek myth. Alcyone, daughter of Aeolus the king of the winds,  discovered her husband had drowned and so she cast herself into the sea in depair. The gods turned Alcyone into a kingfisher, and he father stopped the winds from blowing during the Halcyon Days the week before and the week after the winter solstice, when legend says that kingfishers lays their eggs. But actually, they start forming pairs in February and lay their eggs in a nest burrow in March or April, the chicks hatching in May, early June.