There's an old saying that a camel is a horse designed by a committee.
Perhaps that same committee worked on the Belted Kingfisher, for it is a
caricature cobbled together from spare parts--heavy outsized bill, spiky
crest, abbreviated tail, stubby legs and tiny feet. Both sexes have white
collars and wide slate-blue breastbands but the female with her added
chestnut breastband is more colorful than her slate-blue, white-bellied
mate. The kingfisher is a "flying rattle" that defends feeding
territory even when not nesting, its loud, noisy clatter ringing out over
Plumage: No dramatic change.
Similar to adult.
Where the fish are! The kingfisher perches in solitary splendor on a
branch or wire overlooking open water--rivers, bays, coastal and
fresh-water marshes or ponds. If you are lucky, you may see it hover, then
plunge headlong into the water in pursuit of a fish.
A Florida resident. Nests in
vertical banks, using the bill to excavate tunnels and a nesting chamber.
Where there are no banks a tree cavity may be used for raising a brood.
The next can be some distance from the fishing grounds.
Text by Mary Jean Rogers, West Volusia
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