Belted Kingfisher

Bird with fish in it's mouth
Kingfishers primarily eat fish, but will also eat small frogs, tadpoles, crustaceans, and insects.

Ohio Division of Natural Resources

 

Scientific Name

Megaceryle alcyon

 

Identification

  • Belted kingfishers have a blue-grey head, back, wings, and tail. The head is topped by a prominent crest, and separated from the body by a white collar.
  • They have a white underside with a brown band stretching from the base of one wing to the other.
  • They are often heard before they are seen, and have a long, rattling call.
 

Habitat

  • Belted kingfishers can be found near large bodies of water across almost all of North America, either while migrating or as permanent residents.
  • In the Grand Canyon, belted kingfishers are rarely seen but may be found year-round along the Colorado River and it's tributary streams.
 

Behavior

  • Kingfishers primarily eat small fish. They watch for fish by hovering over water or perching on branches overhanging water. Once a fish is seen, the kingfisher dives headfirst into the water to capture it.
  • Kingfishers occasionally feed on other aquatic creatures, including frogs, tadpoles, and insects.
  • They nest in tunnels dug into steep dirt banks. Once a tunnel 3-6 feet (0.9-1.8m) long has been dug, the female will lay 6-7 eggs on the floor of the tunnel.
  • Both parents help feed the chicks, which leave the nest approximately 4 weeks after hatching.

Last updated: May 18, 2016

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 129
Grand Canyon, AZ 86023

Phone:

(928) 638-7888

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