The Belted Kingfisher is often first noticed by its wild rattling call as it flies over rivers or lakes. They perch near a river or stream watching for prey to swim into striking range. Interesting Belted Kingfisher Facts •In contrast with popular notion, man’s activities actually benefit this … However, the population is probably decreasing in some areas as a result of both disturbance and persecution. Outside the breeding season, territories can be from 300 to 500 m of the shoreline. The Belted kingfisher’s geographic range mostly has a mild winter, so it is able to support this species year round, and migration is usually based on the availability of food. The kingfisher is one of few birds in which the female is more colorful than the male. Belted Kingfisher on The IUCN Red List site -,,, Kingfishers are adept at fishing, and are named after the Anglo-Saxon word that means "king of the fishes.". The bird has a small white spot by each eye, at the base of the bill. The Belted kingfisher appeared on the Canadian 1986 series $5 note. The Belted Kingfisher, Megaceryle alcyon - the nominate race - this is the only kingfisher that is widespread in North America. The Belted kingfisher is one of North America’s most widespread and abundant land birds. A group of Belted kingfishers is called a "crown" or a "rattle" of kingfishers. Explore and Conserve the Wilderness Together. They eat berries during winter. We started blogging on December 1st, 2006. 31 Cool Bird Facts #14 – Red-breasted Nuthatch. Growing page of information about the amazing expedition of Lewis and Clark. This website is written and maintained by Eddie Callaway and Jennie Callaway, a brother-sister duo with ties to northern Illinois and northwestern Ohio. The white belly is transected by a slate blue band, topped with a white collar. Then they spring off the perch to hover for a few seconds, before plunging into the water to snatch the fish. The Belted kingfishers are carnivores (piscivores), they mainly eat fish that are 9-14 cm long but also eat mollusks, crustaceans, amphibians, lizards, nestling birds such as quails and sparrows, small rodents and various insects. – Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s All About Birds, Your email address will not be published. Belted kingfishers are top predators in both marine and freshwater aquatic food webs. Your email address will not be published. Before swallowing a fish, the kingfisher will toss it in the air and catch it headfirst in its mouth. We also occasionally use Powell's Books affiliate links where we also earn a portion of sales generated through the links. Fun Facts: The Belted Kingfisher is one of the few bird species where the female is more brightly colored than the male. Females lay five to eight oval, glossy white eggs in the burros, which hatch within a month. Belted Kingfisher Wikipedia article -, 2. Typeface: Futura PT and Cormorant (with some strays left over from many iterations of redesign). After six weeks, juveniles are independent. The Belted Kingfisher is a medium-sized, stocky bird with a large, crested head, and a long, solid bill. This species is found in habitats that are both coastal and inland. Belted Kingfisher Fast Fact – Their long nesting tunnel is usually excavated so that it is going uphill. The Belted kingfisher is often apparent from its wild rattling call while it flies over lakes or rivers. This bird is a sit-and-wait predator which mostly hunts from a perch on a branch, pylon or a pier, which affords a clear view over its feeding territory. Chicks are born naked with pink skin and a black bill. Belted kingfishers are solitary and active during early morning, late afternoon and in the early evening. The oldest known fossil of the kingfisher genus was found in Florida, in Alachua County, and is 2 million years old. It is believed this is engineering concept will protect the young if the area ever gets flooded. Found exclusively along bodies of water, these crested birds have an excellent nesting strategy and defend their territories vigorously. 6-7 white eggs are laid and are incubated for 22-24 days by both parents. The nestlings have acid stomachs with allows them to digest fish bones and scales. At our Center at Pomfret, one or two frequent the beaver pond across from the nature center. 31 Cool Bird Facts #15 – Belted Kingfisher Written by The Birdfreak Team on October 15, 2008 May 3, 2011 Kingfishers come in many sizes and colors, but the most common North American one is the Belted Kingfisher [ Megaceryle alcyon ]. Found almost throughout North America at one season or another, it is the only member of its family to be seen in most areas north of Mexico. Belted kingfishers breed once a year, between April and July depending on the location. The breeding season is from April to May while the pair finishes construction of their nest, which is in an underground burrow near water. It can be seen perched high on a snag, or hovering while it beats its wings rapidly, before plunging headfirst into water to grasp a fish. They both work together to dig the tunnel, this work lasting sometimes a few days. A territory along a stream includes just the streambed and the vegetation along it, and averages 1 km (0.6 mi) long. has been updated. Chicks fledge at about 27-35 days from hatching, but depend on their parents for food for another three weeks. Did You Know? Potential threats such as another bird, a human, or a predator entering the territory will be boldly pursued and with the kingfisher vocalizing loudly until the threat leaves. However, subspecies torquata may be found as far north as Texas and Arizona.

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