One of the most common kingfishers in the world, occurring in the middle east, southern Asia to China, Egypt and Africa south of the Sahel. In southern Africa, it is common in many areas, including South Africa (and Sibuya Game Reserve), northern Botswana and Zimbabwe. It can live at any water body, as long as there are small fish, such as streams, rivers, lakes, temporary pans, estuaries, temporarily flooded areas and rocky coasts.
This approachable largish (25cm) bird is unmistakable, with its exclusively black-and-white plumage. Unlike some kingfishers, it is quite gregarious, and forms large roosts at night. It can be easily tamed.
Its nest is a hole in a bank, on its own or in a colony, where it lays 3-6 white eggs. As with all kingfishers, the nest of a Pied soon becomes unsanitary.