Belted Kingfisher: Medium-sized kingfisher with a distinct, bushy crest, white collar, and large, dagger-like bill. Upperparts are blue-gray and underparts are white. Male has blue-gray breast band. Female has blue-gray breast band and chestnut-brown belly band.
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.
Breeding and Nesting
Belted Kingfisher: Five to eight white eggs are laid in a nesting cavity at the end of a long tunnel excavated by the parents, usually in a riverbank of sand or clay. Incubation ranges from 22 to 24 days and is carried out by both parents, with the female sitting through the night, and the male taking her place in the early morning hours.
Foraging and Feeding
Belted Kingfisher: Eats fish, occasionally too long to swallow completely, accounting for sightings of fish tails sticking out from the bill; when fish are scarce, feeds on mollusks, crustaceans, insects, amphibians, reptiles, young birds, small mammals, and berries. Plunge dives for prey.
Belted Kingfisher: Emits a loud, penetrating rattle, given on the wing and when perched. Sounds like a heavy fishing reel.
Belted Kingfisher: Ringed Kingfisher is larger and has an entirely red belly band.