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Belted Kingfisher

Belted Kingfisher
Ceryle alcyon
(Order: Coraciiformes, Family: Cerylidae)

Diagnosis: The Belted Kingfisher is a robust, medium sized bird ranging from 28-35 cm in length. It’s wingspan typically measures from 48-58 cm. It’s back, crest, and collar are all bluish in color, with a white breast and belly, with females having a reddish band. It has a large thick black bill. This species shows reverse sexual dimorphism, as the females are more brightly colored than males

Natural History: Breeding pairs become territorial against other kingfishers during the summer months. Territories are typically found along the water’s edge averaging 1km in length. Females generally lay 5-8 white eggs and nests by tunneling in dirt along the riverbank, with an upwards facing opening, most likely to avoid flooding with water.

Distribution: Found throughout North America




Habitat: Floodplains, farm ponds, small streams, lakes and reservoirs, and rivers/tributaries


Diet:  Hovers above and dives into water to collect mostly fish, and also invertebrates, amphibians, and small reptiles


Conservation status: IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern




Mousley, Henry. 1938. A Study of the Home Life of the Eastern Belted Kingfisher. Wilson Ornitholocial Society. Vol. 50, No. 1. pp 3-12.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology:

Peterson, Roger Tory. 2010. Peterson Field Guide to Birds of Eastern and Central North American 6th Edition. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. pp 209-210 Fig. 275


Image Credits:
© Nick Chill: All About Birds Cornell University

© Ralph Hocken

Submitted by:  Andrew Spellmeyer, July, 2011.

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