The beautiful iridescent plumage of the common kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) makes it one of our most colourful and instantly recognisable birds; despite this it is rarely seen due to its shy nature. The upperparts are bright blue, while the underparts are a rich chestnut-red, although if seen in flight these colours may not be very obvious. The bill is very long and dagger-like. Although the sexes are generally similar, in breeding pairs they can be distinguished by the bill; in females it has a red base, whereas in males it is completely black. Although similar to adults, kingfisher juveniles have duller, greener plumage. Though relatively widespread across central and southern England, the kingfisher is somewhat elusive and is therefore rarely seen. Kingfishers are not limited to rivers and can be found on coasts and marshes. While it is considered an iconic British bird the kingfisher can actually be found in the African Savanah, throughout Europe and Asia as far East as Japan. Though famous for perching on branches, the kingfisher can also hover just above the water before diving in for its prey.