Belted Kingfisher Bird – Profile | Facts | Description | Call

Belted Kingfisher

The belted kingfisher, scientific name Megaceryle alcyon is a big, conspicuous water kingfisher, the one member of that group generally present in North America. This article will give an overview of Belted Kingfisher bird, call, habitat, nest, scientific name, range, images, diet and in flight, etc.

Belted kingfisher facts

It’s depicted on the 1986 collection Canadian $5 notice. All kingfishers had been previously positioned in a single household, Alcedinidae, however, the latest analysis means that this needs to be divided into three subfamilies.

The Belted Kingfisher is commonly first seen by its wild rattling name because it flies over rivers or lakes.

It might be seen perched on an excessive snag or hovering on quickly beating wings, then plunging headfirst into the water to seize a fish.

Discovered nearly all through North America at one season or one other, it’s the sole member of its household to be seen in most areas north of Mexico.

Medium-sized kingfisher; 28 to 35 cm, 140 to 170 grams. Body stocky, ahead giant with a conspicuous ragged double-pointed crest that covers the complete pileum from the bottom of the bill to the nape.

An almost full white collar throughout the hindneck contrasts with the uniform blue-gray dorsum. Sexes distinguished by dichromatic pectoral bands on white underparts.

Male displays a single blue-gray band. Feminine additionally possesses a blue-gray pectoral band along with rufous sides and rufous band throughout the decreased breast.

Belted kingfisher Description

The belted kingfisher is a stocky, medium-sized hen that measures between 28–35 cm (11–14 in) in size with a wingspan of between 48–58 cm (19–23 in).

This kingfisher can weigh from 113 to 178 g (4.0 to 6. 3 oz). The grownup feminine averages were barely bigger than the grownup male.

This species has a big head with a shaggy crest. Its lengthy, heavy bill is black with a gray base. These options are widespread in lots of kingfisher species.

This kingfisher exhibits reverse sexual dimorphism, with the feminine extra brightly colored than the male.

Each sex has a slate blue head, giant white collar, a big blue band on the breast, and white underparts.

The again and wings are slate blue with black feather suggestions with little white dots. The feminine contains a rufous band throughout the higher stomach that extends down the flanks.

Juveniles of this species are just like adults, however each sex characteristic the rufous band on the higher stomach.

Juvenile males could have a rufous band that’s considerably mottled whereas the band on females will probably be a lot thinner than that on grownup females.

Belted kingfisher Distribution and habitat

This hen’s breeding habitat is close to inland our bodies of waters or coasts throughout most of North America, inside Canada, Alaska, and the USA.

They migrate from the northern elements of its vary to the southern United States, Mexico, Central America, and the West Indies in winter.

It’s an uncommon customer to the northern areas of Colombia, Venezuela, and the Guianas.

Streams, lakes, bays, coasts; nests in banks. Throughout winter and migration, could also be present in nearly any waterside habitat, together with the sides of small streams and ponds, giant rivers and lakes, marshes, estuaries, and rocky coastlines; appears to require solely clear water for fishing.

Throughout the breeding season, extra restricted to areas with appropriate filth banks for nesting holes.

Throughout migration it could stray removed from land; the species is recorded as an unintended customer on a number of Pacific islands, equivalent to Cocos Island, Malpelo Island, Hawaii, the Azores, Clarion Island, and has occurred as a particularly uncommon vagrant in Ecuador, Greenland, Eire, Netherlands, Portugal, and the UK.

The southernmost data of M. alcyon are from the Galapagos Archipelago, insular Ecuador, the place it happens as a migrant in small numbers however apparently not yearly.

It leaves northern elements of its vary when the water freezes; in hotter areas, it’s an everlasting resident.

A number of people could linger within the north even within the coldest winters besides within the Arctic if there are remaining open bodies of water.

Belted kingfisher Feeding Behavior

Forages by plunging headfirst into the water, capturing fish close to the floor with the bill. Watches for fish from department, wire, rock, or different perch above water, or could hover above water earlier than diving. Bones, scales, and different indigestible elements of prey are coughed up later as pellets.

Belted Kingfisher


6-7, typically 5-8. White. Incubation is by each sex, 22-24 days. Feminine incubates in the evening, with males taking up early in the morning; males could or could not do much less of incubation than feminine. Younger:

Each mother and father feed younger, at first giving them partially digested fish, later entire fish. Male could make extra feeding visits than feminine.

Younger depart from nest 27-29 days after hatching, are fed by mother and father for about one other Three weeks. 1 brood per 12 months, maybe typically 2 in the south.


Each mother and father feed younger, at first giving them partially digested fish, later entire fish. Male could make extra feeding visits than feminine.

Younger depart from nest 27-29 days after hatching, are fed by mother and father for about one other Three weeks. 1 brood per 12 months, maybe typically 2 in the south.

Belted kingfisher Diet

Largely small fish. Sometimes feeds on small fish, normally these lower than 4-5″ lengthy. Additionally eats crayfish, frogs, tadpoles, aquatic bugs.

Sometimes it takes prey away from water, together with small mammals, younger birds, lizards. Reported eating berries on occasions.


In the courtship show, the male brings fish, feeds it to the feminine. Nest web site is in steep or vertical filth financial institution, normally with the greater content material of sand than clay.

Each sex participates in digging a protracted horizontal tunnel with the nest chamber at the finish. The tunnel is usually 3-6′ lengthy and normally slopes upward from the entrance.

Not often nests in a tree cavity. Often no lining added to the nest chamber, however, particles and undigested fish bones and scales could accumulate.

Belted kingfisher Migration

Within the Bozeman space, migration intervals are from March 20 to April 10 and October 1 to November 1.

Belted kingfisher Ecology and behavior

The belted kingfisher is commonly seen perched prominently on bushes, posts, or different appropriate “watchpoints” near water earlier than plunging in head first after its fish prey.

In addition, they eat amphibians, small crustaceans, bugs, small mammals, and reptiles.

This hen nests in a horizontal tunnel made in a river financial institution or sand financial institution and excavated by each mother and father.

The feminine lays 5 to eight eggs and each adult incubates the eggs and feeds the younger.

The nest of the belted kingfisher is a protracted tunnel and sometimes slopes uphill.

One attainable cause for the uphill slope is that, in case of flooding, the chicks will have the ability to survive within the air pocket shaped by the elevated finish of the tunnel.

Other Recommended Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *