Description – The Belted Kingfisher is the only kingfisher commonly found north of the desert southwest. It is unusual among bird species in that the female is more brightly colored than the male. The kingfisher is often heard before it is seen, as its loud rattling call betrays its presence. Kingfisher nests are built like burrows, often into the side of a muddy embankment.
The male Belted Kingfisher measures about 13 inches in length. It has a shaggy, conspicuous blue-gray crest. It also has a blue-gray back, tail, and wings. Its throat and underparts are white with a broad blue-gray band across the breast. The female is identical except for a large reddish band under the blue-gray band.
Fish, crustaceans, insects. The kingfisher will dive headfirst into a stream, marsh, or pond to obtain its prey.
Range: The wide-ranging Belted Kingfisher breeds throughout the United States and Canada (except in the desert southwest) and is a year-round resident in the lower 48 states.