United Kingdom

Male kingfishers are seen in amazing riverside duel as they battle for territory 

This is the incredible moment two male kingfishers battle mid-air along a river in an effort to mark their breeding territory.   

Photographer Jonathon Rosborough, 25, from Ballymena, Northern Ireland, captured the two brightly coloured birds engaged in a ferocious fight along the Six Mile Water in Antrim.

Mr Rosborough, who also works as a microbiologist, said the short fight saw the birds lock their bills mid-air before plunging into the water.  

The two brightly coloured kingfishers lock their bills mid-air before plunging into the Six Mile Water in Antrim, Northern Ireland

Photographer Jonathon Rosborough, 25, from Ballymena, has been walking along the river with his daughter when he spotted the birds 

He said: 'I was taking my six-month-old daughter out for a walk in the pram when I spotted the two birds; I always take my camera with me everywhere I go in case I spot something special.

'These two male Kingfishers were fighting for no more than ten seconds in total.

'At first, I thought I was watching a pair on the far river bank when all of a sudden they flew towards each other and locked bills in mid-air.

'They plummeted into the water of the river below and continued scrapping; tumbling into the water a few more times before the bird on the right claimed victory and chased his rival off upstream.

'Neither of them appeared to be badly hurt.

The kingfishers flew towards each other and locked their bills in mid-air over a battle for territory along the river

The colourful birds lock their bills before plunging into the water of the river below and continuing to fight

Mr Rosborough said the birds tumbled into the water a few more times before the bird on the right claimed victory and chased his rival off

'I couldn't believe it at first; luckily I had my camera on hand to document the action.

'I knew they were territorial but I didn't realise they fought like this until I witnessed it for myself.

'After speaking to some other fellow wildlife photographers when I got home, they told me they had never witnessed anything like this before either!'

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