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American Pygmy Kingfisher

Photographing the Pygmy Kingfisher

Well, it is time to leave Tikal after three very nice days here. But the bus does not leave until noon. We have to be out of our hotel room by 11 a.m. Time for one last search for the American Pygmy Kingfisher.

I tried a different pond that I had not searched before. Stayed there for a while but no luck. Went back to the first pond that I had searched several times before.

I was running out of time. Just one hour more. I had given up hope. Then, at the last minute, I found him.

The Pygmy Kingfisher is a beautiful little bird that appeals to me very much. At only 13.5 cm (5.25 inches) from beak to tail, he is smaller than a sparrow. This tiny, pretty bird is no seedeater but a voracious hunter of fish. Like all kingfishers, it sits on a branch overlooking water and waits for a fish to come close to the surface. When it spots a likely catch, it dives head-first into the water and comes up with the fish in its beak.

After having a nice look with my binoculars, he was still there, so I set up my tripod and long lens to try to get some photos and was successful. After posing for a few photos, he flew away to fish in another location.

On the bus and back to Flores with a smile on my face. I would like another day in Tikal just for bird photography but it is expensive here. The hotels are $100 per day.

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