Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Belted Kingfisher

A Belted Kingfisher cuts away sharply when she notices me.  She's was an exciting, yet, fleeting sight patrolling the Milwaukee River on a sunny October day.

She sits alone twenty feet above the water. I suspect, she and her mate have raised their young for this year and split, but I don't know their private story.

Belted Kingfishers are monogamous, but form new partnerships annually.

Next year she will find a new mate.

Belted Kingfishers are not rare, only uncommon. That's why it takes some searching to find kingfishers. They like their privacy and rarely let you near.

She is patient and particular. Whatever she catches must be 'bite-sized' in order to rise waterlogged from the river.

(Click any picture to enlarge.)

A male Belted Kingfisher skims the surface for a seafood opportunity. Kingfishers sometimes hover in place before plunging head first into the water... eyes closed.

Female Belted Kingfishers are more colorful then their male counterparts. Females wear an additional 'belt' of chestnut coloring under their wings.

Kingfishers require open rivers and streams to live up to their namesake, so they will leave Wisconsin soon.

Cooling days and fall colors prompt them to head downstream to warmer weather.


Cornell Lab of Ornithology, All About Birds
The Sibley's Guide to Birds