Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle Alcyon)
You just might find me near Connecticut rivers, lakes, ponds and streams perched on a tree branch overlooking the water.
The Belted Kingfisher got its name from the alternating bands of white, blue, and rust that form a circle around its throat and breast. The female is more colorful and slightly larger than the male.
This bulky bird is approximately 11-14 inches, and has a wingspan of 19-23 inches. Their large heads are crowned with a bushy crest and a large bill. Their head and back are a grey blue, resembling a Blue Jay. Blue band runs across the breast of both males and females and have a white collar around their neck. The male Kingfisher has a white belly, and the female has a rust color across the white belly.
These birds can be found near Connecticut rivers, lakes, ponds and streams, perched on a branch that overhangs the water, ready to dive for unsuspecting prey.
Although most kingfishers migrate from their range to the warmer climates during the winter months, some do remain throughout the year. These year round residents must locate areas of water that does not freeze in order to hunt for their food.
Belted Kingfishers are very territorial and will use rattling calls to chase intruders from their territory.
Belted Kingfishers live near various bodies of water, spending much of their time perched on tree branches that overhang the water searching for small fish.
The Belted Kingfisher is common to the United States, Alaska and Canada but can also be found in Mexico and into parts of Central & South America, occupying a wide range of aquatic habitats.
Carnivores. Fish, crayfish, crabs, reptiles, mice, insects and berries.
Unknown in the wild.
Seasonally monogamous. Solitary until mating season which begins in April. Both male and females assist in building their nest in tunnel like burrows that are dug near a body of water. Female will lay between 5-8 eggs. Gestation period- 23- 24 days. Eggs are incubated for 22 days with the male and female assisting in the incubation process. At 16 days the hatchings will be the same weight as their parents. Feathers begin to grow on the hatchings after day 6, are fully feathered by day16, and will begin to venture from the nest for exploration of the tunnel. They can fly around day 23, and will begin leave the burrow around 30 days. At six weeks old the young are independent of their parents.
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Contact Info: Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo 1875 Noble Avenue Bridgeport, CT 06610
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