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The giant kingfisher (Megaceryle maxima) is the largest kingfisher in Africa, where it is a resident breeding bird over most of the continent south of the Sahara Desert. The male has an orange breast and its belly is white with some black spots. A female’s breast is black and white spotted and the belly is orange – the difference can be remembered as a male as wearing an orange shirt and a female wearing an orange skirt. The monogamous giant kingfisher will hover over prey or perches on a rock or branch overhanging the water. It will then disappear underwater to catch its prey, before returning quickly to its perch. It will swallow small crabs whole, but a larger one is moved to the tip of its bill so it can hit it on its perch with swinging movements, to remove carapace and pincers before swallowing the flesh.
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