Oftentimes one can view a Belted Kingfisher perched in trees, on posts and the places above the water when they plunge into the water head first looking for dinner! These birds make intricate nests with tunnels that slope uphill. It is thought this is done to prevent flooding and creates an air bubble for the chicks to shelter in. The nests are near the water and both parents dig them. The females lay 4-8 eggs and they are incubated by both the male and female.
The Belted Kingfisher is a medium sized bird with a wingspan of nearly two feet with a weight of 4-6 ounces with the females being a bit bigger than the males. The Kingfisher has a shaggy crest, like a fuzzy hat! The bill is long and stout and the colors are bright with the female being the brightest. Their coloring is slate blue, white and blue.
Length: 11.0-13.8 in (28-35 cm)
Weight: 4.9-6.0 oz (140-170 g)
Wingspan: 18.9-22.8 in (48-58 cm)
“These kingfishers are blue-gray above with fine, white spotting on the wings and tail. The underparts are white with a broad, blue breast band. Females also have a broad rusty band on their bellies. Juveniles show irregular rusty spotting in the breast band.”
They frequent streams, rivers, ponds, lakes, estuaries, and calm marine waters. During the breeding season Belted Kingfishers are seen all over North America even as high an elevation as 9,000ft. The Kingfisher migrates south for the winter but in Galveston they live hear all year round. Only enough, they have also been spotted in the Arctic! The Belted Kingfisher are migratory and range all the way from Canada and Alaska to the Gulf Coast of the United States. They head down to the Caribbean and Central America as well. They’ve been spotted all the way from Hawaii to Spain and Greenland!