I found this poor boy yesterday. He was perfectly positioned as if he was resting. But a bird like this does not stop to rest on the asphalt right outside of a busy warehouse’s open roll-up door.
He fit right into my hand, my palm cupped perfectly. And still looked so very vibrant and alive. No broken neck. No sign of death by another animal. Not riddled with parasites or even bird-lice.
I took him to a few of my co-workers: ‘Look what I found! Isn’t it beautiful? What is it, do you think? Looks like a kingfisher to me, but I thought they were bigger?’ Some agreed that he did look like a kingfisher. Most of the lads just exclaimed on how beautiful he was. Or made jokes about me learning taxidermy. Love my coworkers, I really do.
I wrapped him in bubble wrap, put him in a box, and brought him home with me. I wanted to have a better look, identify him for sure, and take photos.
My Irish Wildife book confirmed he was a kingfisher – Alcedo atthis – or Cruidín in Irish. They are 16-17cm long (about 6.5in), and this one was 17cm so an adult. They aren’t endangered, just hard to spot despite the bright colouring.
While I am very sad he is dead, I am still happy that I was able to get so close to one of the most beautiful birds I have ever seen. A bird that is now in my freezer… yeah, I’m weird. I might find a taxidermist after all.