A flash of blue and a whistling call: that’s how the kingfisher often announces its arrival. For the most part kingfishers prefer fresh, flowing streams and rivers, but can also be found breeding alongside stagnant water (particularly in the Netherlands). They dig nest tunnels in steep sandy or loamy banks. In winter the kingfisher can also be observed at more open, brackish or salt water, searching to supplement their diet – small fish, water insects etc – or looking for ice-free, clear water for foraging. Unfortunately harsh winters can devastate their numbers.