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Kingfisher   Listen
noun
Kingfisher  n.  (Zool.) Any one of numerous species of birds constituting the family Alcedinidae. Most of them feed upon fishes which they capture by diving and seizing them with the beak; others feed only upon reptiles, insects, etc. About one hundred and fifty species are known. They are found in nearly all parts of the world, but are particularly abundant in the East Indies. Note: The belted king-fisher of the United States (Ceryle alcyon) feeds upon fishes. It is slate-blue above, with a white belly and breast, and a broad white ring around the neck. A dark band crosses the breast. The common European species (Alcedo ispida), which is much smaller and brighter colored, is also a fisher. See Alcedo. The wood kingfishers (Halcyones), which inhabit forests, especially in Africa, feed largely upon insects, but also eat reptiles, snails, and small Crustacea, as well as fishes. The giant kingfisher of Australia feeds largely upon lizards and insects. See Laughing jackass, under Laughing.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Kingfisher" Quotes from Famous Books



... indeed. Yet the form of bill most in use is very simple—just a plain pair of forceps, long and sharp-pointed like scissors. This is evidently hard to beat, for birds of many sorts use it, handling it variously. The kingfisher plumps bodily down on the minnow from an overhanging perch; the solan goose, soaring, plunges from a "pernicious height"; the heron, high on its stilts, darts out a long and serpentine neck; the diver, with similar beak and neck, but different ...
— Concerning Animals and Other Matters • E.H. Aitken, (AKA Edward Hamilton)

... green tresses over the surface. Better still, by and by a couple of stray moorhens make their appearance in the pool—strange birds, coloured glossy olive-brown, slashed with white, with splendid scarlet and yellow beaks! If by some strange chance a shining blue kingfisher were to appear it could not create a greater excitement. So much attention do they receive that the poor strangers have no peace of their lives. It is a happy time for the children, and a good time for the busy housewife, ...
— A Shepherd's Life • W. H. Hudson

... tout casse, tout passe; and while the kingfisher turns his sapphire back in the sun against the lemon-yellow of the willow leaves, and the smouldering russet of the oak-crowns succeeds to the crimson of the beeches and the gold of the elms, we shall do well to emulate the serene ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 159, November 17, 1920 • Various

... but she jumped along merrily in the water, as a kingfisher does, and scarcely even wondered where its ...
— The Waters of Edera • Louise de la Rame, a.k.a. Ouida

... call the bee wise, and celebrate its "making the yellow honey,"[47] flattering it for its tickling sweetness; but we neglect the wisdom and ingenuity of other creatures, both as regards the birth and bringing up of their young. For example, the kingfisher after conception weaves its nest with the thorns of the marine needle, making it round and oblong in shape like a fisherman's basket, and after deftly and closely weaving it together, subjects it to the action of the sea waves, that its surface may be rendered waterproof ...
— Plutarch's Morals • Plutarch

... repeat it, never travel alone, and above all, never go to Venice alone and without love! For young married people in their honeymoon, or a pair of lovers, the gondola is a floating boudoir, a nest upon the waters like a kingfisher's. But for one who is sad, and who stretches himself upon the sombre cushions of the bark, the gondola is ...
— A Romance of Youth, Complete • Francois Coppee

... cottages in perfect completeness, an isolated self-sufficing community, lacking nothing—not even the yellow ferret in the cage. The footpath beyond the homestead crosses a field where we find the Arun once again—here a stream winding between steep banks, sure home of kingfisher and water-rats. ...
— Highways & Byways in Sussex • E.V. Lucas

... admirable marksman. Her room was a perfect museum. Here were birds, bats, beetles, snakes, and toads; some dissected, some preserved in spirits, and others stuffed, all gathered and prepared by her own hands. Now she made an inkstand from the egg of a sea-gull and the body of a kingfisher; now she climbed to the top of a tree and brought down a crow's nest. She could walk miles upon miles with no fatigue. She grew up like a boy, which is only another way of saying that she grew up healthy and strong physically. Probably polite society was shocked at Dr. Hosmer's methods. ...
— Lives of Girls Who Became Famous • Sarah Knowles Bolton

... to me for advice as to the best method of dealing with those symptoms of original sin which cause small children to bewilder their elders by the utter depravity of their moral nature. What, for example, could I say to Kingfisher who was heard, when praying audibly, to petition heaven that Rosebud with whom she had quarrelled might ...
— The Fulfilment of a Dream of Pastor Hsi's - The Story of the Work in Hwochow • A. Mildred Cable

... curlew and crested hern, Kingfisher, mallard, water-rail and tern, Chaffinch and greenfinch, warbler, stonechat, ruff, Pied wagtail, robin, fly-catcher and chough, Missel-thrush, magpie, sparrow-hawk, and jay, Built, those far ages ...
— Georgian Poetry 1918-19 • Various

... the Chameleon lay at anchor was not very far from the residence of Blue Beard. When the escort arrived there the horizon was tinged with the first rays of the rising sun. The Chameleon was a brigantine, light and swift as a kingfisher, riding gracefully on the waves, at her mooring. Not far from the Chameleon was seen one of the coast guards who traversed in his rounds the only point of Cabesterre which ...
— A Romance of the West Indies • Eugene Sue

... had along the grassy banks, where my friends the frogs were dreaming on the leaf of a nenuphar, and where the coquettish and delicate water lilies suddenly opened to me, behind a willow, a leaf of a Japanese album, and when the kingfisher flashed past me like a blue flame! How I loved it all, with the instinctive love of eyes which seemed to be all over my body, and with ...
— The Works of Guy de Maupassant, Volume II (of 8) • Guy de Maupassant

... look, then darted off into the woods to tell the news. I also noted the Canada warbler, the chestnut-sided warbler, and the black-throated blue-back,—the latter most abundant of all. Up these mountain brooks, too, goes the belted kingfisher, swooping around through the woods when he spies the fisherman, then wheeling into the open space of the stream and literally making a "blue streak" ...
— In the Catskills • John Burroughs

... two kinds of gull; one of Shearwater (Rhynchops ablacus); three of tern, and one of cormorant. Besides these there were three egrets, the large crane, stork, green heron, and the demoiselle; the English sand-martin, kingfisher, peregrine-falcon, sparrow-hawk, kestrel, and the European vulture: the wild peacock, and jungle-fowl. There were at least 100 peculiarly Indian birds in addition, of which the more remarkable were several ...
— Himalayan Journals (Complete) • J. D. Hooker

... it, the tuft of feathers which he had received from Towha. This, with the hair and eye, was carried back to the priests. Soon after, Otoo sent to them another piece of feathers, which he had given me in the morning to keep in my pocket. During some part of this last ceremony, a kingfisher making a noise in the trees, Otoo turned to me, saying, "That is the Eatooa" and seemed to look upon it to ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 16 • Robert Kerr

... glassy surface. The swallows were wheeling here and there in swift, graceful motions; one moment lightly skimming the surface of the pond and the next, high in air above the trees and buildings. A water snake came gliding toward an old log close by. A turtle was floating lazily in the sun. And a kingfisher startled him with its harsh, discordant, rattle as it passed in rapid flight toward the upper end of the pond where the tall cat-tails were nodding in the sunlight and the drooping willows fringed the bank ...
— Their Yesterdays • Harold Bell Wright

... shoes wheezing, lingered in the vicinity long enough to swallow his "peg" and acquire a disdainful opinion of his shooting from Marion, and then took himself off, leaving the room noisy with his laugh, which resembled the rattle of a startled kingfisher. ...
— The Fighting Chance • Robert W. Chambers

... from his bed in the meadow there, Breaking the gossamer threads and the nets of dew, And flashing adown the river, a flame of blue! The kingfisher flies like an arrow, and ...
— Poems • Oscar Wilde

... convinced that aid was now impossible, we took our guns and hastened to the spot where the accident happened; but all was still there, not a wavelet disturbed the surface of the stream. A small speckled kingfisher was hovering overhead, as if balanced in the air, with its beak bent down on its breast, watching the fish beneath; presently it darted like an arrow into the water; returned with an empty bill, and then went off, with its clear, ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 2, No. 12, May, 1851. • Various

... to Carefinotu that the Great Spirit had also favoured him with the power of the lightning; and perceiving a kingfisher tranquilly seated on an old stump near the river was bringing the stock up to his cheek, when ...
— Godfrey Morgan - A Californian Mystery • Jules Verne

... perch, Fly various, hushed their early song; and mark, Beneath the darkness of the bramble-bank That overhangs the half-seen brook, where nod The flowing rushes, dew-besprent, with breast Ruddy, and emerald wing, the kingfisher 80 Steals through the dripping sedge away. What shape Of terrors scares the woodland habitants, Marring the music of the dawn? Look round; See, where he creeps, beneath the willowy stump, Cowering and low, step silent after step, The booted ...
— The Poetical Works of William Lisle Bowles, Vol. 1 • William Lisle Bowles

... talked much with children myself for I never really cared for people. They used to say that the dead body of a Kingfisher kept them safe in war and they said also that it protected ...
— Birds Illustrated by Color Photograph, Volume 1, Number 2, February, 1897 • anonymous

... wings, and returns as swiftly to the cover. Sometimes it is a flycatcher, sometimes a greenfinch, or chaffinch, now and then a robin, in one place a shrike, perhaps another is a redstart. They are fly-fishing all of them, seizing insects from the sorrel tips and grass, as the kingfisher takes a roach from the water. A blackbird slips up into the oak and a dove descends in the corner by the chestnut tree. But these are not visible together, only one at a time and with intervals. The larger part of the life of the hedge is out of sight. All the thrush-fledglings, the young ...
— The Life of the Fields • Richard Jefferies

... was the very person to be used as the test-critic of the Romany mind upon Arnold's poem, for she was exceptionally intelligent. So instead of going to the camp the oddly assorted little party of three struck across the ferns, gorse, and heather towards "Kingfisher brook," and when they reached it they sat ...
— The Romany Rye - A Sequel to 'Lavengro' • George Borrow

... KINGFISHER.—This beautiful bird signifies the return of someone for whom you have been longing; if flying, news of a surprising nature ...
— Telling Fortunes By Tea Leaves • Cicely Kent

... in shape and general appearance is like the Kingfisher. Instead however of living on fish, he contents himself with lizards, beetles, grasshoppers, etc., and amongst these he makes a great havoc. The range of this bird did not extend beyond the ...
— Expedition into Central Australia • Charles Sturt

... And when tired of playing it is very good to sit quite still on the bank and watch things happening: perhaps a water-rat will swim along suspecting nothing, and then, seeing you make a movement, will dive and disappear, and suddenly come into view ever so far away on the other bank. Perhaps a kingfisher will flash by or settle on a branch overhanging the water. Kingfishers grow more rare every year, owing to the merciless and unthinking zeal with which they are shot; and maybe before long there will be no more to be ...
— What Shall We Do Now?: Five Hundred Games and Pastimes • Dorothy Canfield Fisher

... fascination in this spectacle stretched before us. An hour ago it had been so softly peaceful, with the little brook picking its clean way in the sunlight through the morass, and the kingfisher flitting among the willows, and the bees' drone laying like a spell of indolence upon the heated air. Now the swale was choked with corpses! The rivulet ran red with blood, and sluggishly spread its current ...
— In the Valley • Harold Frederic

... a slight downward curve at the base of the neck, which may be due merely to the craw. The big slender herons, on the contrary, bend the long neck back in a beautiful curve, so that the head is nearly between the shoulders. One day I saw what I at first thought was a small yellow-bellied kingfisher hovering over a pond, and finally plunging down to the surface of the water after a school of tiny young fish; but it proved to be a bien-te-vi king-bird. Curved-bill wood-hewers, birds the size and somewhat the coloration of veeries, but ...
— Through the Brazilian Wilderness • Theodore Roosevelt

... this moment before eyes, stealing along the border of the brook where it lay open to the day or was merely fringed by shrubs and bushes. I see the bittern rising with hollow scream as they break in upon his rarely-invaded haunt; the kingfisher watching them suspiciously from his dry tree that overhangs the deep black millpond in the gorge of the hills; the tortoise letting himself slip sideways from off the stone or log on which he is sunning himself; and the panic-struck frog plumping ...
— The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. • Washington Irving

... reptile to the bird is no great distance. Then the Wood-pigeon's iridescent hues, the eyes on the Peacock's tail, the Kingfisher's sea-blue, the Flamingo's carmine are more or less closely connected with the urinary excretions? Why not? Nature, that sublime economist, delights in these vast antitheses which upset all our conceptions ...
— The Glow-Worm and Other Beetles • Jean Henri Fabre

... the present, when it seems a mere Oriental passiveness and the forsaking of works,—just an excuse to Nature for being out among her busy things. For even at this stillest of hours there is far less repose in Nature than we imagine. What created thing can seem more patient than yonder kingfisher on the sea-wall? Yet, as we glide near him, we shall see that no creature can be more full of concentrated life; all his nervous system seems on edge, every instant he is rising or lowering on his feet, the tail vibrates, the neck protrudes or shrinks again, the feathers ruffle, the ...
— Oldport Days • Thomas Wentworth Higginson

... Polypemon.—Ver. 401. This was a name of the robber Procrustes, who was slain by Theseus. Halcyone, the daughter of his son Scyron, having been guilty of incontinence, was thrown into the sea by her father, on which she was changed into a kingfisher, which bore ...
— The Metamorphoses of Ovid - Vol. I, Books I-VII • Publius Ovidius Naso

... lake and made a pretence of fishing. The loneliness of the lake and the isolation of the boat suited his humor. He did not find it true that misery loves company. At least to human beings he preferred his companions of Lone Lake—the beaver building his home among the reeds, the kingfisher, the blue heron, the wild fowl that in their flight north rested for an hour or a day upon the peaceful waters. He looked upon them as his guests, and when they spread their wings and left him again alone he felt he had ...
— Once Upon A Time • Richard Harding Davis

... imagine the difficulty of hitting even those slow waterfowl with an eagle or vulture or a group of them, huge fellows, looking at you from fifteen to twenty yards off from the top of a low palm, or a kingfisher of vivid cerulean quivering in front of your nose, so fixed in its poise and so dazzling in colour that you saw a pink spot for minutes after, and so got in to your waist. And there were many kinds of doves and pigeons, which almost fanned our faces as they swooped past, ...
— From Edinburgh to India & Burmah • William G. Burn Murdoch

... came, and Little Tim seated himself for his luncheon on a knoll carpeted with thick, tufted grass. A kingfisher, disturbed by his arrival, went rattling on his way upstream. And as the boy drew from his dingy blouse a scrap of brown paper, enclosing a bit of bread and cheese, and laid it down beside him, ...
— The Rival Campers Ashore - The Mystery of the Mill • Ruel Perley Smith

... old brook that had frightened him?" he wondered. "Perhaps it was only the hedge-hog waddling along back from the brook to his hole in the ledge above, or it might be the kingfisher, who had tired of the bend of the brook a week before and had changed his thieving ground to the rapids above, where he terrorized daily a shy family of trout, pouncing upon the little ones with a great splashing and hysterical ...
— The Lady of Big Shanty • Frank Berkeley Smith

... daughter's society, and from illness had lived perfectly secluded, our nursery circle knew her but little, and were certainly more affected by the death (which I witnessed) of a beautiful bird, viz., a kingfisher, which had been injured by an accident. With my sister Jane's death (though otherwise, as I have said, less sorrowful than perplexing) there was, however, connected an incident which made a most fearful impression upon myself, deepening my tendencies ...
— Autobiographic Sketches • Thomas de Quincey

... broad-shouldered wildcat showed himself, coming out of a grove, and crossing the river on a flood-jamb of logs, halting for a moment to look back. The bird-like tamias frisked about my feet everywhere among the pine-needles and seedy grass-tufts; cranes waded the shallows of the river-bends, the kingfisher rattled from perch to perch, and the blessed ouzel sang amid the spray of every cascade. Where may lonely wanderer find a more interesting family of mountain-dwellers, earth-born companions and fellow-mortals? ...
— The Mountains of California • John Muir

... lank black clivers (Plotus), exceedingly wild; the African roller (Coracias); halcyons of several species, especially a white and black kingfisher, nimble and comely; many swallows, horn-bills, and wild pigeons which made the bush resound; ardeine birds, especially a heron, like the large Indian "kullum;" kites, crows, "whip-poor-wills," and a fine ...
— Two Trips to Gorilla Land and the Cataracts of the Congo Volume 2 • Richard F. Burton

... strengthened with his strength, so that by the time he had completed his eighth year he was familiarly acquainted with the animals of that region, and had the most lively admiration for the more interesting specimens. He watched with delight the kingfisher, and loved to distinguish the voices of the ...
— Captains of Industry - or, Men of Business Who Did Something Besides Making Money • James Parton

... unvexed by storms; hence "halcyon days." The feathers of this bird are employed by the Tartars for many superstitious purposes; they consider them amulets of priceless value, enabling them to inspire women with love. In more civilized countries it was once believed, that if the body of a kingfisher were suspended by a thread, some magnetic influence would turn its breast to the north: others thought it a preserver of woollen cloths from moths. The Albatross (by some considered the kingfisher or halcyon,) ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction - Vol. XIX. No. 542, Saturday, April 14, 1832 • Various

... the daughter of olus and wife of Ceyx. When her husband died she was changed into a bird,—the kingfisher,—and, floating over the sea, she still calls for the lost Ceyx in tones full of plaining and tears. And "whensoever she makes her nest, a law of nature brings round what is called Halcyon's weather—days distinguishable among ...
— Six Centuries of English Poetry - Tennyson to Chaucer • James Baldwin

... indeed the palings of the fence around it, were covered with the stretched and drying skins of animals. The pelts of bear, panther, wolf, and fox were intermingled with squirrel and wildcat skins, and the displayed wings of eagle, hawk, and kingfisher. There was no trail leading to or from the cabin; it seemed to have been lost in this opening of the encompassing woods and left ...
— From Sand Hill to Pine • Bret Harte

... hour wondering vaguely of my last night's adventure, listening to the spring-time chorus of the birds, lazily and listlessly watching a bough that bent and waved its fan of foliage across my face, or the twinkle of the tireless kingfisher flashing down-stream in loops of light, when a blackbird lit on a branch hard by my left hand, and, all unconscious of an audience, began to pour forth his ...
— Dead Man's Rock • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... from the boughs o'erhead. My coming strikes a terror on the scene. All the sweet sylvan sounds are hushed; I catch Glimpses of vanishing wings. An azure shape Quick darting down the vista of the brook, Proclaims the scared kingfisher, and a plash And turbid streak upon the streamlet's face, Betray the water-rat's swift dive and path Across the bottom to his burrow deep. The moss is plump and soft, the tawny leaves Are crisp beneath my tread, and scaly twigs Startle my wandering eye like ...
— Graham's Magazine Vol XXXII. No. 3. March 1848 • Various

... can tell you what that bird was—a kingfisher, the celebrated halcyon of the ancients, about which so many tales are told. It lives on fish, which it catches in the manner you saw. It builds in holes in the banks, and is a shy, retired bird, never to be seen far from the ...
— Young Folks Treasury, Volume 3 (of 12) - Classic Tales And Old-Fashioned Stories • Various

... greetings unfrequent, While, on the meadow elm, the meadow lark gushed forth in music, Rapt, exultant, and shaken with the great joy of his singing; Over the river, loud-chattering, aloft in the air, the kingfisher Hung, ere he dropped, like a bolt, in the water beneath him; Gossiping, out of the bank flew myriad twittering swallows; And in the boughs of the sycamores ...
— Poems • William D. Howells

... that the goldfinch and the kingfisher are not often seen except in picture-books; but our own little robin is a real beauty, is he not? And what can be gayer than the feathers of some of our cocks, which strut about so proudly? Then, the more you notice the songs of birds, the more you will admire them. The sweet ...
— Twilight And Dawn • Caroline Pridham

... by sharp whistles. Now and then one of them mounted a leaf, and allowed me to see his pale yellow iris. Except for this mark, recognizable almost as far as the bird could be distinguished at all, he looked exactly like our common New England towhee. Somewhere behind me was a kingfisher's rattle, and from a savanna in the same direction came the songs of meadow larks; familiar, but with something unfamiliar about them at the same time, unless my ears ...
— A Florida Sketch-Book • Bradford Torrey

... seemed to know that I was one who had taken out God's certificate, and meant to have the value of it; every one of them was aware that we desolate more than replenish the earth. For a cow might come and look into the water, and put her yellow lips down; a kingfisher, like a blue arrow, might shoot through the dark alleys over the channel, or sit on a dipping withy-bough with his beak sunk into his breast-feathers; even an otter might float downstream likening himself to a log of wood, with his flat head flush with the water-top, and his oily ...
— Lorna Doone - A Romance of Exmoor • R. D. Blackmore

... of kingfisher, which stands flapping its wings and attempting to sing in a ridiculous manner. It never was better described than by one observer who, after watching it through its performance, said it ...
— The Last Journals of David Livingstone, in Central Africa, from 1865 to His Death, Volume I (of 2), 1866-1868 • David Livingstone

... A kingfisher sat on a flagpole slim, And watched for a fish till his eye was dim. "I wonder," said he, "if the fishes know That I, their enemy, love them so! I sit and watch and blink my eye And watch for fish and ...
— Stories Worth Rereading • Various

... hastily and unceremoniously. To smoodge To be a "sucker" To curry favour at the expense of independence. "Gives me the pip" "Makes me tired" Bores. "On a string" } Trifling with him. "Pulling his leg"} Kookaburra A giant kingfisher with grey plumage and a merry, mocking, inconceivably human laugh—a killer of snakes, and ...
— Some Everyday Folk and Dawn • Miles Franklin

... by the faint breeze; on it goes until its farther course is lost in the shadow of the olive-green woods that tower in massive darkness against the soft amber-colored clouds and pale blue sky. The watchful kingfisher, perched on the other side of the stream, eyes me askance but has no great fear at my presence, the splash of a disturbed turtle or the heavier fall of a diving frog calling for his more earnest attention. Bass are leaping in every direction; far up on the hillside sounds the bell ...
— Black Bass - Where to catch them in quantity within an hour's ride from New York • Charles Barker Bradford

... of a satisfactory dinner, and was thinking about it, while young Robin sighed and thought it seemed very dreadful; but the next moment he was watching a streak of blue, which was a kingfisher with a tiny silver fish in its beak, and thinking he was beginning to ...
— Young Robin Hood • G. Manville Fenn

... who threw herself into the sea after her husband, who had perished in shipwreck, and was changed into the kingfisher. ...
— The Nuttall Encyclopaedia - Being a Concise and Comprehensive Dictionary of General Knowledge • Edited by Rev. James Wood

... For Kingfisher, the West-country horse, riderless and with trailing reins, was careering alongside him like a rudderless ...
— Boy Woodburn - A Story of the Sussex Downs • Alfred Ollivant

... it with hostile designs upon its fishy denizens, Austin at least never did. Belted kingfisher, heron, mink, and perhaps a furtive small boy with pole and sinker and barnyard worm—these were the only foes the trout might dread. As for a man and a fly-rod, they knew him not, nor was there much ...
— The Younger Set • Robert W. Chambers

... hold upon him. The solitude, the charming scenery, and the requisite skill, combined to please him. He had a love for nature, and he gratified it in this pursuit. His domain abounded in those bright chalky streams which the trout love. He liked to watch the moor-hens, too, and especially a kingfisher. ...
— Endymion • Benjamin Disraeli

... runlet, which still trickles between its transparent fantastic margin of thin ice, as if it were a thing of life,—there, with a swift, scudding motion, flits, in short low flights, the gorgeous kingfisher, its magnificent plumage of scarlet and blue flashing in the sun, like the glories of some tropical bird. He is come for water to this little spring by the hillside,—water which even his long bill and slender head can hardly reach, so nearly do the fantastic forms of those garland-like ...
— Our Village • Mary Russell Mitford

... should be swept into the hands of some greedy official from the court.[100] In 1686 James II. sent Sir Edmund Andros to New England as a "Commissioner" to destroy the liberty of the people. He came to Boston in the "Kingfisher, a fifty gun ship," and brought two companies of British soldiers, the first ever stationed in this town to dragoon the people into submission to an unrighteous law. Edward Randolph, the most determined enemy of the colony, ...
— The Trial of Theodore Parker • Theodore Parker

... habitations,—while it always seems as if the empty last-year's nests were very plenty. Some, indeed, are very elaborately concealed, as of the Golden-Crowned Thrush, called, for this reason, the Oven-Bird,—the Meadow-Lark, with its burrowed gallery among the grass,—and the Kingfisher, which mines four feet into the earth. But most of the rarer nests would hardly be discovered, only that the maternal instinct seems sometimes so overloaded by Nature as to defeat itself, and the bird flies and chirps in ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 10, Number 59, September, 1862 • Various

... also, innumerable. One, styled the "king-hunter," sang wild exultant airs, as if it found king-hunting to be an extremely exhilarating occupation, though what sort of kings it hunted we cannot tell. Perhaps it was the king of beasts, perhaps the kingfisher, a bright specimen of which was frequently seen to dart out from the banks, but we profess ignorance on this point. There were fish-hawks also, magnificent fellows, which sat in regal dignity on the tops of the mangrove trees, and the glossy ibis, with others of the ...
— Black Ivory • R.M. Ballantyne

... pines near the convent of Daphni threw patches of shade on the warm earth because they wanted to rest there; the kingfisher rose in low and arrow-like flight from the banks of Khephissus to make a sweet diversion for them; they longed for brilliance, and the lagoons of Salamis were dyed with a wonder of emerald; they asked ...
— In the Wilderness • Robert Hichens

... ladies were led away by their attendants, weeping, lamenting, raging, according to their several dispositions, and the Pearl Empress, left with her own maidens, beheld the floor strewn with jade pins, kingfisher and coral jewels, and even with fragments of silk and gauze. Nor was she any nearer the solution ...
— The Ninth Vibration And Other Stories • L. Adams Beck

... yards and more over a level gravel bottom, so shallow that even as a cub I could walk from shore to shore without the water being above my shoulders. At the edge of the pool the same black and white kingfisher was always sitting on the same branch when we came down, and he disliked our coming, and chirred at us to go away. I used to love to pretend not to understand him, and to walk solemnly through the water underneath and all ...
— Bear Brownie - The Life of a Bear • H. P. Robinson

... plumes of feathers a hundred feet into the heat-palpitating air. Frequently, too, they halted to watch the motions of some tiny humming-bird hovering like a living gem over the cup of a flower, or the flight of a gaudily painted kingfisher or parrot. A great silence pervaded the woods, for the trees were for the most part so lofty that the sough of the wind in their topmost branches was inaudible, and it was the hour when the insect world indulged in its ...
— The Cruise of the Nonsuch Buccaneer • Harry Collingwood

... its shaven ledge Aught but weeds and waving grasses To view the river as it passes, Save here and there a scanty patch Of primroses too faint to catch A weary bee. And scarce it pushes Its gentle way through strangling rushes Where the glossy kingfisher Flutters when noon-heats are near, Glad the shelving banks to shun Red and steaming in the sun, Where the shrew-mouse with pale throat Burrows, and the speckled stoat; Where the quick sandpipers flit In and out the marl and grit That seems to breed them, brown as they: Naught ...
— The Poetry Of Robert Browning • Stopford A. Brooke

... that are laid in holes or other dark places are white without markings of any kind, as illustrated by those of the Chimney Swift, Belted Kingfisher, and all Woodpeckers. In such instances Nature shows no disposition to be lavish with her colouring matter where it ...
— The Bird Study Book • Thomas Gilbert Pearson

... meadows where the milkmaids stand thick and pale, and those green courts where lords and ladies live, Jan added that world of pleasure open to those gifted with a keen sense of form and color. Strange gleams under a stormy sky, sunshine on some kingfisher's plumage rising from the river, and all the ever-changing beauties about him, stirred his heart with emotions that he could not ...
— Jan of the Windmill • Juliana Horatia Ewing

... rusty. Bill large and heavy. Middle and outer toes joined for half their length. Call-note loud and prolonged, like a policeman's rattle. Solitary birds; little inclined to rove from a chosen locality. Migratory. Belted Kingfisher. ...
— Bird Neighbors • Neltje Blanchan

... scanned many a crank in his day—was not so alarming as it had once seemed to Clara; its coarse-woven, deep-blue linen and needle-worked yoke were pleasing to him, and he could hardly take his gaze from the kingfisher-blue band or fillet that she wore round that ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... swimming, and dipping on a glimpse of the spectator; when fish are rising, or sometimes taking a sudden "header" into the air and going down with a splash; when the water-vole rushes for his hole with head just above the water; when a blue flash of kingfisher darts by, and the deep blue or green dragon-flies sit on the sedges, or perhaps a tiny May- fly sits on a rail to shake off its last garment, and come forth a snow-white fairy thing with three ...
— John Keble's Parishes • Charlotte M Yonge

... the idle cooing of the pigeons ascends into the summer-laden air; the rainbow-fed chameleon slumbers on the branch; the enamelled beetle on the leaf; the little fish in the sparkling depths below; the radiant kingfisher, tremulous as sunlight, in mid-air; and the peacock, with furled glories, on the temple tower of the silent gods. Amid this easeful and luscious splendour the villager ...
— Twenty-One Days in India; and, the Teapot Series • George Robert Aberigh-Mackay

... Cinclus aquaticus, Bechstein. French, "Aquassiere," "Cincle plongeur."—The Dipper or Water Ouzel, though not very common, less so, indeed, than the Kingfisher, is nevertheless a resident species, finding food all through the year in the clear pools left by the tide, and also frequenting the few inland ponds, especially the rather large ones, belonging to Mr. De Putron in the Vale, where there is always ...
— Birds of Guernsey (1879) • Cecil Smith

... blue streak, like lightning, flashed before Perrine's eyes. It was not until it had disappeared that she realized that it was a kingfisher which had just crossed the pond. For a long time, standing quite still for fear a movement might betray her presence and cause the birds to fly away, she stood at the opening looking out at them. How pretty it all was in ...
— Nobody's Girl - (En Famille) • Hector Malot

... exploits, and the meadows over which he passed to thatched, half-timbered Shottery, where the village inn was still standing when men, now middle-aged, were born. Rustic gardens, white-blossomed orchards, tiny brooks beloved by the kingfisher, trees that may have seen the courting of the poet and his wife, still remain to tell the story of England's unchanging charm. In the spring and early summer there is such an atmosphere about the countryside as George Meredith has created in his "Richard Feverel" when ...
— William Shakespeare - His Homes and Haunts • Samuel Levy Bensusan

... of blossoms, line the banks, scattering their fragrance far and near. The rancorous cry of the catbird, and the rattling call of the kingfisher, that feathered spirit of the stream, are left behind; the clear flutelike notes of the meadow lark take their place, and the hills, covered with wild flowers, roll back from its margin, as if to make room ...
— Byways Around San Francisco Bay • William E. Hutchinson

... of the Canary islands, almost entire sterility. The broad, flat-bottomed valleys, many of which serve during a few days only in the season as water-courses, are clothed with thickets of leafless bushes. Few living creatures inhabit these valleys. The commonest bird is a kingfisher (Dacelo Iagoensis), which tamely sits on the branches of the castor- oil plant, and thence darts on grasshoppers and lizards. It is brightly coloured, but not so beautiful as the European species: in its flight, manners, and place of habitation, which is generally ...
— The Voyage of the Beagle • Charles Darwin

... him as the rustle of the reeds in a breeze. The blue heron rose heavily from the backwater, and winged his slow flight high above the trees. Here, indeed, seemed reason for fear; but the great bird was not in the humour for killing voles, and soon passed out of view. Now a kingfisher, then a dipper, sped like an arrow past the near corner of the pool; and the whiz of swift wings—unheard by all except little creatures living in frequent danger, and listening with beating hearts to sounds unperceived by our drowsy senses dulled by long ...
— Creatures of the Night - A Book of Wild Life in Western Britain • Alfred W. Rees

... in a snag. He was between five and seven feet long, and a second rather larger one lay close by. From time to time we caught sight of parties of blacks hidden amongst the rank vegetation of the shores, and we saw some beautiful birds, particularly a brilliant blue kingfisher, flashing about like a jewel in the sunlight. There was another pretty little red-beaked bird; and an enormous black crane, about four feet high, with white tips to his wings, and a red and blue topknot, stalked about among the lotus-lilies. One part of the river banks was covered by a dense ...
— The Last Voyage - to India and Australia, in the 'Sunbeam' • Lady (Annie Allnutt) Brassey

... proves this one to be no bat, but a Morpho—a moth as big as a bat. And what was that second larger flash of golden green, which dashed at the moth, and back to yonder branch not ten feet off? A Jacamar {138d}—kingfisher, as they miscall her here, sitting fearless of man, with the moth in her long beak. Her throat is snowy white, her under-parts rich red brown. Her breast, and all her upper plumage and long tail, glitter with golden green. There ...
— At Last • Charles Kingsley

... heath again. It was joyful to hear the merry whistle of blackbirds as they darted from one clump of greenery to the other. Now and again a peaty amber colored stream rippled across their way, with ferny over-grown banks, where the blue kingfisher flitted busily from side to side, or the gray and pensive heron, swollen with trout and dignity, stood ankle-deep among the sedges. Chattering jays and loud wood-pigeons flapped thickly overhead, while ever and anon the measured ...
— The White Company • Arthur Conan Doyle

... of his neighbors, and the progress and improvement he despised—granting only, after a royal fashion, occasional license, revocable at pleasure, in the shape of tolls, which amply supported him, with the game he shot in his kingfisher's eyrie on the Marsh. Even the Government that had made him powerful was obliged to 'condemn' a part of his property at an equitable price for the purposes of Fort Redwood, in which the adjacent town of Logport shared. ...
— The Heritage of Dedlow Marsh and Other Tales • Bret Harte

... head bent down and looking as if he were trying to think his head off. Only in the most lonesome places, far from where the hens cackled and the geese gabbled and the cocks crew, would the Boy Who Knew What the Birds Said find him. And when he did find him Kingfisher-all-Blue would not open his beak to say one word—no, not even when the Boy would say "Where did you get your beautiful color?" and "Why is your ...
— The Boy Who Knew What The Birds Said • Padraic Colum

... partridges in abundance, and snipe and wild-fowl resorted to the river in winter. Thither also, at all seasons, repaired the stately heron, to devour the finny race; and thither came, on like errand, the splendidly-plumed kingfisher. The magpie chattered, the jay screamed and flew deeper into the woods as the horsemen approached, and the shy bittern hid herself amid the rushes. Occasionally, too, was heard the deep ominous croaking ...
— The Lancashire Witches - A Romance of Pendle Forest • William Harrison Ainsworth

... had done in the days before his marriage. In his strong, almost passionate nature, there was one great weakness; the love and admiration of women was a necessity to him. He could no more help trying to make women love him, than the kingfisher can help thrusting down his beak when the bright speckled sides of his prey flash through the water. It was from neither cruelty nor vanity, for Thorne had less of both traits than usually falls to the lot of men; it was rather from the restlessness, the yearning of a strong ...
— Princess • Mary Greenway McClelland

... ripples by the south wind. Or perhaps it is a forest river, winding on by wooded hills and grassy points and lonely cedar swamps. In secret shallow bays the young broods are plashing about, learning to swim and dive and hide in safety. The plunge of the fish-hawk comes up from the pools. A noisy kingfisher rattles about from tree to stump, like a restless busy-body. The hum of insects fills the air with a drowsy murmur. Now a deer steps daintily down the point, and looks, and listens, and drinks. A great moose wades awkwardly ...
— Ways of Wood Folk • William J. Long

... damsel who knelt there. The little skylark went up above her, all song, to the smooth southern cloud lying along the blue: from a dewy copse dark over her nodding hat the blackbird fluted, calling to her with thrice mellow note: the kingfisher flashed emerald out of green osiers: a bow-winged heron travelled aloft, seeking solitude a boat slipped toward her, containing a dreamy youth; and still she plucked the fruit, and ate, and mused, as if no fairy prince were invading her ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... A kingfisher flashed across the open on his way back to the brook near at hand, fleeing from the still splendor of the sun-fired woods, where he was but a courtier, to the little winding world of gray stones and water, where he ...
— Red Pottage • Mary Cholmondeley

... warming with unaccustomed good cheer and the chance of a convert, launched out into a proposed bird-nesting campaign, betraying all manner of important secrets—a golden-crested wren's nest near Butlin's Mound, a moor-hen who was sitting on nine eggs in a pond down the Barby road, and a kingfisher's nest in a corner of the old canal above Brownsover Mill. He had heard, he said, that no one had ever got a kingfisher's nest out perfect, and that the British Museum, or the Government, or somebody, had ...
— Tom Brown's Schooldays • Thomas Hughes

... way down the river, drifting easily now with the current, and leaving long trails of ripples behind them. The sun was sinking low in the west, and there was a lovely golden light on the water, the shadows on the willowy shore were deep and mysterious, a kingfisher flashed along the bank like a living jewel. The spirits of the school, already risen to fermenting point, effervesced into stunt songs composed on the emergency of the moment, and passed on from boat ...
— The Madcap of the School • Angela Brazil

... at morning with the earliest swallows' cry, kingfisher of Pallas in the loom, and the heavy-headed twirling spindle, light-running spinner of the twisted yarn, and the bobbins, and this basket, friend to the distaff, keeper of the spun warp-thread and the reel, Telesilla, the industrious ...
— Select Epigrams from the Greek Anthology • J. W. Mackail

... "Only a kingfisher!" said Rose, laughing. "But I don't believe we ought to have picked his flower. This is certainly a fairy place! Move on, or he may cast a spell over us, and we shall turn into ...
— Hildegarde's Holiday - a story for girls • Laura E. Richards

... river, and Patricia willed that they walk along its banks that they might see the white mist lift, and the silver flash of fish rising from the water, and the swoop of the kingfisher. Landless agreeing, they went down to the river, and standing upon a rocky spit of ground which ran far out into the stream, they looked down the misty expanse, then turned involuntarily and looked up. At that ...
— Prisoners of Hope - A Tale of Colonial Virginia • Mary Johnston

... blue silk and bright embroidery At the first call of Spring the fair young bride, On whom as yet Sorrow has laid no scar, Climbs the Kingfisher's Tower. Suddenly She sees the bloom of willows far and wide, And grieves for him she lent to fame ...
— A Study of Poetry • Bliss Perry

... of whose rivers he had killed salmon. As an angler he was a thorough artist, as a woodsman he was an expert, and as a companion he was most agreeable. Among the Indians, who have the habit of naming every person from some personal trait, he was known as "the Kingfisher," and by that name I shall call him. The second of our party, who procured the right of fishing the Restigouche, and made up the party, I shall call Rodman, which suits him both as fisherman and in his professional character of engineer. The third, being a tall man of rather military ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, Volume 11, No. 26, May, 1873 • Various

... suppose that she came frequently to those hills. She was to be seen no more often than you will see a kingfisher when you watch for it under a willow. Yet because in the season of kingfishers you know you may see one flash at any instant, so to Young Gerard each day of spring and summer was an expectancy; and this it was that kept his lift alight. This and his young troop of friends in a ...
— Martin Pippin in the Apple Orchard • Eleanor Farjeon

... of my fifteen volumes of ornithology, I can obtain only this very vague account of the prettiest bird, next to the kingfisher, that haunts our English rivers, I have no doubt the most precise and accurate accounts are obtainable of the shapes of her bones and the sinuosities of her larynx; but about these I am low-minded enough not to feel the slightest curiosity. I return to Mr. ...
— Love's Meinie - Three Lectures on Greek and English Birds • John Ruskin

... 1869 in Philadelphia, New York, and Boston. Her subjects were landscapes and flowers. In 1871 she first painted in water-colors, which suited many of her pictures better than oils. She was elected a member of the Water-Color Society in 1875. To the Philadelphia Exposition, 1876, she sent a "Kingfisher and Catkins," a "Flock of Snow Birds," and the "Corner of a Rye-Field." Of the last a writer in the Art Journal said: "Miss Bridges' 'Edge of a Rye-Field,' with a foreground of roses and weeds, is a close study, and shows that she is as happy ...
— Women in the fine arts, from the Seventh Century B.C. to the Twentieth Century A.D. • Clara Erskine Clement

... there sat our child, bare-legged, watching the forbidden ground beyond the river. A fresh breeze was moving the trees and making the whole a dazzling mass of shifting light and shadow. He sat so still that a glorious violet and red kingfisher perched quite close, and, dashing into the water, came forth with a fish, and fled like a ray of light along the winding of the river. A colony of little shell parrots, too, crowded on a bough, and twittered and ran to and fro quite busily, as though they said to ...
— Stories of Childhood • Various

... cold of a February day, we may, on very rare occasions, be fortunate enough to hear unexpected sounds, such as the rattle of a belted kingfisher, or the croak of a night heron; for these birds linger until every bit of pond or lake is sealed with ice; and when a thaw comes, a lonely bat may surprise us with a short flight through the frosty air, before it returns to its ...
— The Log of the Sun - A Chronicle of Nature's Year • William Beebe

... kestrel, which hangs in the air by an invisible motion of its wings. When she was in a high wind her light body was blown against trees and banks like a heron's. When she was frightened she darted noiselessly like a kingfisher. When she was serene she skimmed like a swallow, and that is how she was ...
— The Return of the Native • Thomas Hardy

... steamy jungle, and the band was refreshed—Mark having hard work to refrain from chasing some gorgeous butterfly of green and gold, or with wings painted in pearl-blue, steel, and burnished silver. At other times some lovely kingfisher, with elongated tail, settled almost within reach. Then it would be a green barbet, with bristle-armed beak and bright blue and scarlet feathers to make it gay. Or again, one of the cuckoo trogons, sitting on some twig, ...
— Mother Carey's Chicken - Her Voyage to the Unknown Isle • George Manville Fenn

... were Mr. and Mrs. Kingfisher, with dark, glossy, green wings, spotted with light blue. Their tails were also light blue, and there was a patch of yellow near their heads. The little Kingfishers were quite as pretty as their parents, and Mr. and Mrs. Kingfisher were ...
— Chatterbox Stories of Natural History • Anonymous

... nest, merely a layer of small fish-bones, was placed, and ended horizontally on the side of the bank. I once saw six young kingfishers sitting side by side on a dead branch, close together, evidently just out of the nest. And I was fortunate in seeing a kingfisher dart upon the water, hover for an instant like a hawk-moth over honeysuckle, and, having caught a small gudgeon, fly away with it in its beak. They, like the martin, always perch on leafless wood, so that the leaves shall not impede ...
— Grain and Chaff from an English Manor • Arthur H. Savory

... sparrow came tripping Across the green grass at my feet; A kingfisher poised, and was peering Where current and calm ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... A Kingfisher sat on the edge of a boat that a young man had prepared for a fishing expedition. A box of bait and a bucket to hold the fish were on one of the benches, whilst a fishing-rod lay across the boat, and its long line had a float at the ...
— Little Folks - A Magazine for the Young (Date of issue unknown) • Various

... the open fields and woods, and ramble near the coast to some retired and solitary branch of the sea, our meditations may be suddenly startled by the harsh voice of the Kingfisher, like the sound of a watchman's rattle. This bird is seldom seen in winter in the interior; most of his species migrate southwardly and to the sea-coast, just so far as to be within reach of the open waters. As they subsist on the smaller kinds of fishes, they would perish with hunger, ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 3, Issue 17, March, 1859 • Various



Words linked to "Kingfisher" :   kingfisher daisy, Alcedinidae, belted kingfisher, Ceryle alcyon, Alcedo atthis, laughing jackass, kookaburra, Eurasian kingfisher, Dacelo gigas, family Alcedinidae



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