Sunday, July 24, 2011

Belted Kingfisher Ceryle alCyon

All The Birds Of North America: Belted Kingfisher Ceryle alCyon

Belted Kingfisher Ceryle alCyon With its long bill and prominent crest, the Belted Kingfisher looks somewhat top-heavy. Usually solitary, it perches conspicuously out in the open, on a branch overhanging a pond or stream, and plunges headfirst into the water to catch fish or aquatic insects. These birds fly with rapid, irregular wingbeats; they sometimes hover over the water, watching their prey, before making a dive.

Identification 12-14". Blue-gray above, white below, with long, daggerlike bill and bushy crest; white collar about neck and broad blue-gray band across breast; female also has rufous band crossing upper abdomen.

Voice A loud, long, dry rattle.

Habitat Rivers, lakes, and seashores.

Range Breeds in much of Alaska and S. Canada, south through United States; absent from deserts of the Southwest. Winters along coasts from Great Lakes through Mississippi Valley; also farther south.

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