Belted King Fisher

Ceryle alcyon

Image by Judy Gallagher on Flickr, CC BY 2.0

Physical: Kingfishers are small birds with large heads and bills, and can measure up to 33 cm.  They are blue-gray in color dorsally and white ventrally.

Habitat: C. alcyon occur in rivers, lakes, and saltwater estuaries.  They winter on the Pacific Coast north to southeast Alaska and along the Atlantic Coast to New England.

Feeding: Belted Kingfishers feed on fish, crabs, crayfish, salamanders, lizards, mice, and insects.  They make steep dives into the water to catch their prey, and sometimes reach depths of 50 ft.

Breeding: C. alcyon lay from 5 to 8 white eggs in an unlined chamber at the end of a tunnel in gravel or sand banks.  Nests may be several miles from the feeding grounds.  Breeding grounds range from the Aleutian Islands to the Gulf Coast.

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