The King’s Fisher

Have you ever observed the superb skills of a Kingfisher making a headlong dive from an overhanging branch into a pond? The true origin of the Kingfisher’s name isn’t certain. But if you have seen him come up with a large fish, you must agree he is aptly named the king fisher!

Belted Kingfisher; Walton County Georgia

However, since many other birds are also quite good at catching fish, he may not have obtained that name by simply being the best at fishing. Another theory is that some monarch – a king with an affinity for the bird – gave him the name: thus, the King’s Fisher. In fact, the Oxford English Dictionary states the name was originally written as The King’s Fisher (“kyngys fischare” in Middle English). I can’t help but think of King Solomon’s “three thousand proverbs which spoke of trees, beasts, birds, creeping things, and fishes.”

The King of Kingfishers

During his earthly ministry of discipling young fishermen to become apostles, Jesus stated, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19).  The Lord’s desire is for His people to be the best fishermen they can be; to “launch out into the deep and let down the nets for a catch” of lost souls (Luke 5:4). If it is truly our Lord’s desire for us to be such fishers of men, we should strive to be the best fishermen possible! We can learn a few fishing tips from the Kingfisher.

Be Vocal!

Kingfishers are quite vocal and their loud, rattling call is often heard long before they are seen. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology states, “Male and female Belted Kingfishers give strident, mechanical rattles in response to the slightest disturbance.” I can always hear a Kingfisher from my office if there is one on the retention pond. As Christians hoping to win souls for our King, we should be just as vocal about the saving grace of Jesus everywhere we go. Our presence and evangelistic desire should never be hidden.  As Paul said, “If our gospel is hid, it is hid to them that are lost” (2 Corinthians 4:3).

Dive In!

The Kingfisher’s mode of catching fish is also an inspiration. They plunge headfirst directly from a perch, or, by hovering over the water bill downward, dive in after a fish they’ve spotted. Oh how many more souls we might win if we were to dive headfirst into every situation declaring the Gospel! A “pool” of souls on a city bus?  Dive in head first and preach! A “school” of fish? Take a plunge and declare the word of God no matter what the teachers might say!

So take an evangelistic tip from the Kingfisher: dive in and be vocal! After all, we are the King of Kings’ Fishers!

Hi, I’m wildlife photographer and nature writer William Wise. I was saved under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology at the University of Georgia. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. I’m currently an animal shelter director and live in Athens, Georgia with my wife and two teenage daughters, who are all also actively involved in ministry. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation. William Wise Nature Notes is my wildlife and birding photo blog documenting the beauty, design and wonder of God’s creation. I am also a guest author at Lee’s Birdwatching Adventures  and The Creation Club. — “What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, made the earth overflow with Your wonderful creations.” Psalms 104, The Message.


2 thoughts on “The King’s Fisher

  1. Belted Kingfishers are fun to watch, when they are fishing — I learned this while watching one (during the mid-AD1990s), at a pond in Carrollton, Texas. The kingfisher would “dive-bomb” to the pond’s surface, striking it with her feet (it was a female, based on the plumage coloring), which scared near-he-surface fish in the direction from the splash-strike. The same maneuver was repeated, but from the opposite direction, which scared fish to move away from the apparent direction of the threat. By repeating this approach, from different directions, the kingfisher was “herding” her prey into a crowded spot, making it harder for all of the fish to escape her soon-coming attack – then she dove into the pond, at that fish-crowded spot! When she emerged from the pond-water she proved her success, fish in beak! Now that’s premeditated predation! (The obvious insight is that God programmed the kingfisher, to use this successful “fishing” tactic.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have not had the pleasure of seeing that amazing tactic from a Kingfisher! I suppose God already had the fall in mind when He engineered our genetics in order to adapt to survive after the fall. That also reveals God’s balance of judgement and mercy! He had to judge Adam’s sin and place the world under a curse, but by mercy also gave His creatures the ability to adapt and survive after the fall. Just like the cross where judgement and mercy met! Thanks Dr. Johnson!

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