Frozen Kingfishers Discovered in Bavaria
Images of two kingfishers frozen in blocks of ice have gone viral. The pictures were posted online by a priest who says he discovered the birds near Weisendorf in Northern Bavaria.
The perfectly preserved birds were frozen in a diving position. The stunning snaps reveal the tragic fate of the two birds who would have been diving into an icy lake to catch food. It is thought that the unfortunate kingfishers must have dived into the water and failed to find an exit hole or that their entry point froze over whilst they were beneath the surface.
Extracting the Kingfishers
The priest who claims to have discovered the birds managed to gain permission from the Higher Nature Conservation Authority in Ansbach to remove the kingfishers from the lake. Foresters were then able to saw out blocks of ice with the birds frozen inside. They have said that they have never seen anything like it before.
But kingfishers do often dive through holes in frozen lakes to catch fish. The two birds found in the ice are believed to be common kingfishers which can occasionally be seen in the UK hunting around lakes and rivers. It is thought that the German name for these birds, "Eisvogel" meaning ice bird, may have originated from these creatures having been discovered frozen like this.
There has been a severe cold snap in Europe with temperatures dropping to -30C. More than 30 people have died as a result of the weather and images have emerged of a fox frozen in a block of ice after falling into a freezing lake in Germany.
Somewhat larger animals have also been discovered frozen. Last year two moose were found in North America when their antlers were seen poking through snow. It appeared that they had been fighting as their antlers were locked together.
Winter in The UK
Such discoveries are unlikely in the UK as the extreme temperatures required are rarely experienced here. But the weather certainly gets cold enough to make life hard for wild birds. It is important to provide clean water and food for the birds to help them through the winter and you can do this in your own garden. You can prevent the water in your birdbath from freezing over by placing a plastic ball in it or fitting a heater. Hopefully, you will not stumble across any frozen birds in your garden!