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  Belted Kingfisher  
  (Ceryle alcyon)  

belted kingfisher.jpg


The Belted Kingfisher is unique in many ways. One interesting fact is that it is one of the few bird species in which females are more colorful than males! To feed, this species perches along a stream, pond, or lake waiting for a passing meal. It's eyes contain a red oil that reduces glare on the water, greatly improving it's ability to see fish and other prey underwater. Parents eventually teach young Kingfishers to fish by dropping already dead meals into the water for retrieval. Migration of this species depends on the availability of open water; Kingfishers will stay in an area year round if they can find fishing grounds. Belted Kingfisher pairs maintain territories, often occupying separate territories for nesting and feeding. In fact, the two territories have been found to be up to 8 km apart. Nests are conspicuous burrows excavated into a riverbank or cliff of sand or gravel; they can be as deep as three meters, and are often keyhole shaped. Why such a shape? Because this species often bangs its feet into the burrow opening as it flies into it's home!

  Distribution of the Belted Kingfisher in Quebec:  
  distribution map.jpg  


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