Celebrating Kingfishers Through Art

Kingfishers at Stanwick Lakes

Did you know that kingfishers live at Stanwick Lakes? They like to live by still or slow flowing water, so the mosaic of lakes and ponds, streams and rivers at Stanwick Lakes provides plenty of opportunity for this beautiful bird to make it their home.

Although they are brightly coloured, with a bright blue back and wings and an orange tummy, kingfishers can be tricky to spot! You’re most likely to see a flash of colour as they fly low over the water but, if you are lucky, you may see one perching on a branch, looking out for a tasty fish or aquatic insects to eat. Once a minnow or a stickleback has been spotted, the kingfisher dives and, as they enter the water, opens its beak ready to catch their prey and cleverly protects its eyes by closing its third eyelid.

This is the time of year when the kingfishers pair up, then create nest tunnels together in the riverbanks. The pair will raise between 2 and 3 broods throughout the breeding season, with the first eggs laid in March or early April. Kingfishers are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act so it is illegal to disturb them when they are either in, or near, their nests. We make sure that we keep nest locations secret to prevent human disturbance and keep the kingfisher family safe.

We also take care of them by managing the backwater that runs through Stanwick Lakes, an off shoot of the river Nene, to support a wide range of fish and aquatic invertebrates so the kingfishers don’t go hungry!

Kingfisher Art

This month we are celebrating the kingfisher through art. Why not download a kingfisher colouring page, created by artist Catherine Matthews.

Catherine also led an online Kingfisher Art Class at the beginning of the month – here are just some of the 20 kingfishers that were painted during the class.

View the full Kingfisher Art Gallery.

If you would like to have a go at painting a kingfisher, Catherine produced a worksheet with step-by-step instructions.

If you would like to share what you create, and add it to our kingfisher art gallery, please email it to natureworks@rftrust.org.uk


NATUREWORKS is a new project, celebrating and supporting nature, bringing it centre stage at Stanwick Lakes. Over the next year we’ll be busy boosting the site’s flora and fauna, from water voles to wading birds and reedbeds to riverbanks, through a combination of habitat improvements, natural resilience works, and landscape enhancements. There will be lots of opportunities to get involved, including plant and animal surveys, nature events and family re-wilding activities.