Belted Kingfisher

Megaceryle alcyon

Order

CORACIIFORMES

Family

Kingfishers (Alcedinidae)

Code 4

BEKI

Code 6

CERALC

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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Copyright © 2004 - 2014 Mitch Waite Group

PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Belted Kingfisher has a range that is large, reaching up to 14 million square kilometers. The population of the Belted Kingfisher is thought to be more than 2 million individual birds. The Belted Kingfisher can be found in many countries in the Caribbean, Central America and North America. The population of the Belted Kingfisher has not significantly decreased in the last ten years. As a result, this bird has a current rating of Least Concern. The Belted Kingfisher previously had a rating of Lower Risk in 2000.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Belted Kingfisher: This medium-sized bird has a bushy crest, white collar and large, black dagger-like bill. It has blue-gray upperparts, white underparts and gray legs and feet. Males have one blue band across the white breast, while females have a blue and chestnut band. It hovers above water to search for prey such as crayfish and frogs. Slow direct flight with an erratic pattern.


Range and Habitat

Belted Kingfisher: Breeds from Alaska eastward across southern Canada and south throughout most of U.S. Spends winters on the Pacific coast north to southeastern Alaska, and throughout the south, north to the Great Lakes and along the Atlantic coast to New England. Preferred habitats include rivers, lakes, and saltwater estuaries.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"rattle"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • Belted Kingfishers have been known to share their tunnels with swallows. The swallows dig out small rooms tucked in the tunnel walls.
  • Human activity, such as digging gravel pits and building roads, have created banks where they can build nests and expand their breeding range.
  • To avoid being eaten by hawks, they will dive into the water.
  • A group of belted kingfishers are collectively known as a "crown" and a "rattle" of kingfishers.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP

CERange Map for Belted Kingfisher

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Michael Oberhofer

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
CollarX
Similar to the upper part of the human neck, located at the back of the crown.
CrestX
Tufts of feathers on the head of the bird.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X