BELTED KINGFISHER


Ceryle alcyon


Description:

I love to see this bird. Its proportionally large bill and spiky looking crown give it an interesting appearence. This bird can be found perching on a limb above a river or lake. After spotting a fish, the Kingfisher will leave its post and hover over the water until it plunges in after the prey. While fish are the bird's main food source, they also eat amphibians, reptiles, and aquatic invertebrates. Kingfishers will often patrol a section of river or lake.


Appearance:

General: 12 to 13 inch in length.

Male: Short-legged bird with a big head and large bill. Slate blue head with a white spot near lores. White chin, throat, neck, and underparts. Slate blue breastband. Slate blue back and upperwing coverts with small white spots. Slate blue tail with numerous dark and light bands. Long, stocky, black bill.

Female: Similar to male except it has a reddish belly band extending down its flanks.


Habitat:

Rivers, lakes, and saltwater estuaries.


Nesting:

5-8 white eggs with a 23-24 day incubation period. Fledging occurs 23+ days after hatching. The eggs are laid in an unlined cavity at the end of a tunnel that can be up to 8' long. The tunnel is usually made in a sand or gravel bank.


Observed Locations:

  • Lake Murray, La Mesa
  • Santee Lakes, Santee
  • J Street Marina, Chula Vista
  • Famosa Slough, San Diego
  • South Bay (end of 7th St), Imperial Beach
  • Near Fiesta Island entrance, Mission Bay


  Listen To This Bird ( mp3 )
         Song #1




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Copyright © Scott Streit, 2000.