Image for Courting couple

Courting couple

Duration: 02:17

The ancient Greeks believed that this little blue bird had the power to calm the waters. They called her Halcyon and the gods blessed her with fair weather to build her nest. This kingfisher has been fishing since dawn courtship and has a suitor. There's one sure sign of a couple's engagement: the female accepts a fish from the male. But this female is unimpressed with the fish he catches preferring to catch her own. He persists - if there's one thing a kingfisher can do well, it's fish and he demonstrates his fancy footwork. Finally, she accepts a fish and he spends the rest of the day reaffirming the offer with more fish. They will rely heavily on the strength of this bond in the months to come.

Available since: Tue 11 May 2010


John James
Camera Operator
Charlie Hamilton-James
Philippa Forrester
Charlie Hamilton-James

This clip is from

Natural World 2002-2003, My Halcyon River

3/17 A portrait of a British river, chronicling the the wildlife that lives in and around it.

First broadcast: 24 Nov 2002

Image for My Halcyon River Not currently available on BBC iPlayer

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss