A quiet morning photographing a pair of saddle billed storks was rudely interrupted by an aerial spectacle that dazzled and amazed.
Pied kingfishers, known for their fishing skills rather than their fighting skills, are relatively small birds, that wouldn’t get much backing in a street fight. How wrong those backers would be!
A matching ‘his and hers’ set of kingfishers were minding their business, when a potential suitor/replacement male thought it a good time to challenge the existing male to a dog fight.
A few chirping calls later, both males were using their dart like speed, usually reserved for the final plummet on the hunt, to try doing maximum damage to their opponent. The trick seemed to be to knock the other down, and then kick him. Perhaps not the most gentlemanly of tactics, but when your lady is watching with keen interest from the front row, you don’t want to win, you need to win!
The fight was fast paced, and covered some good ground. It took them from the sandy banks of the coveted river/fishing haven/lady attractor, into the river itself, before heading back into the sky for a high speed game of life and death tag. (It appears that birds in general, die in fights more often than we originally thought).
As it turned out, the existing male managed to persuade the challenger to move on, and keep his lady. Both birds took the rock where it all began, and displayed loudly, letting the saddle-billed storks know just who victor was.