The Kingfisher - an amazing Bird
The Kingfisher is the common name of birds from three
families: the Alcedinidae or River Kingfishers, Cerylidae or
Water Kingfishers and Halcyonidae or Tree Kingfishers.
Kingfishers are small, brightly colored birds that have
roughly ninety species, but all Kingfishers have large
heads, short legs, stubby tails and long, sharp pointed
bills. Kingfishers are found all throughout the world.
Kingfishers live in both wetlands and woodlands. They hunt
near water for small fish by diving into the water. They
also may eat frogs, insects, and crayfish. The Wood
Kingfishers also eat small reptiles. Kingfishers all kill
their prey the same way, by whipping it into a tree or
dropping it on a stone.
Kingfishers can see well in the open air as well as under
the water while they are swimming after their prey. Their
eyes have an egg-shaped lens that allows them to focus in
the two different environments.
The Kingfisher is best seen in the Old World or in
Australia. They are also represented in Europe, Mexico and
North America with the Common Kingfisher and the Belted
Kingfisher and a more uncommon two local species of the
southwestern United States, the Green Kingfisher and the
Ringed Kingfisher. In southeast Europe the Pied Kingfisher
and the White-breasted Kingfisher are seen.
The Belted Kingfisher is often spotted hovering over the
waterside before it plunges headfirst into the water in a
dive to catch small fish. It has a loud rattling cry that
announces its presence to all nearby.
The Belted Kingfisher is a medium sized bird with a large
head and shaggy crest. It has a large thick bill and a
bluish head and back, a white throat and collar and white
underneath with a blue breast band.
The difference between the male and female Belted Kingfisher
is that the female has reddish flanks and band across the
chest below the blue band and reddish tips to the feathers
in the blue chest band. The male may have reddish flanks and
some red in the blue chest band but not near as much as the
female. When the Belted Kingfisher is young it looks like
the adult version except the male has an incomplete reddish
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