Photos of kingfishers and other birds

This is a video of a kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) catching some snacks.

Beautiful photos of kingfishers and other (European) birds are here.

1 thought on “Photos of kingfishers and other birds

  1. There’s no mistaking the regal kingfisher
    Sunday, June 17, 2007
    For the Star-Ledger

    BELTED KINGFISHER is a favorite of birders and nonbirders alike, typically observed majestically perched on a tree limb, rail, post or sign overlooking an area of open water.

    North America has three species of resident kingfishers, including the belted. Ringed kingfisher are found only along the Rio Grande River in south Texas, and the green kingfisher are in south Texas and southeast Arizona. Belted kingfisher is found nesting completely across North America, except for the area of the Arctic Circle and the American Southwest. It is a permanent or winter resident across most of the United States, and open water is a critical factor to its presence. Cold winters will drive this species farther south to warmer climes, where it can find is favorite food fish without the interference of ice.

    Kingfishers nest in a tunnel constructed in a steep bank on the edge of a river, bay, marsh or estuary, and are often found vigorously defending their territory from rivals. America’s three kingfishers are quite different in size, with ringed the largest at 16 inches in length, belted 13 inches and green under nine inches. Our belted kingfisher stands quite erect, exhibiting a large head with a long, spearlike black bill and a slate blue head topped by a crest. The throat, neck, lower breast and belly are white, while the back and upper breast band are also slate blue. Females can be distinguished from the males by the red band across the upper belly.

    One is usually alerted to their presence before they are ever seen by their loud rattle call, which sounds reminiscent of a hairy woodpecker. They are usually solitary and have the ability to hover over the water when foraging for food, which also includes frogs and insects. Water clarity is very important for the kingfisher to locate prey when they hunt. Once they find their target, they will power-dive to the water’s surface to capture their prey and, since they do not swim, must quickly take flight from the surface.

    Kingfishers are found worldwide, with 93 known species. Most belted kingfisher winter in North America, but a small percentage migrate south as far as Colombia, Venezuela and Guyana, as well as islands in the Caribbean and even the Galapagos Islands off Ecuador. In New Jersey, the belted kingfisher is found nesting across the state, except for urban areas and much of the Pine Barrens of South Jersey.

    What we’ve spotted

    # Here are some sightings from the weekly “Voice of New Jersey Audubon” rare bird alert (732-872-2595): Black tern, Sandy Hook American oystercatcher, Swartswood Lake

    # Roseate tern, Sandy Hook

    # Greater shearwater, Cape May

    # Cerulean warbler, High Point State Park

    # Wilson’s storm-petrel, Elberon


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