Published on February 16, 2013 by Amy
Description – This pigeon sized bird is blue-grey above and white below with a bushy crest and dagger-like bill. The male has a blue-grey breast band; the female is similar but also has a chestnut belly band. The call is a loud, penetrating rattle.
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Distribution – The kingfisher breeds from Alaska east across southern Canada and throughout most of the U.S.A. They winter on the Pacific coast north to Alaska. They inhabit rivers, lakes and saltwater estuaries. Look for the image of the Belted Kingfisher on the back of Canada’s five dollar bill.
Biology -The kingfisher perches conspicuously on a tree limb over a river or lake while searching for fish; they sometimes feed on lizards and insects. When flying from one perch to another they often fly with uneven wing beats, uttering it’s rattling call as it goes. The nest is at the end of an unlined chamber dug in a sand or gravel bank where 5-8 white eggs are laid. If the chamber is not disturbed, the fisher will use it the next year, too.