Fingers Crossed! (Re-post from 2010)

(Note: This post originally published in June, 2010)

This morning I’m heading back out in the kayak, and I’ve got my fingers crossed that soon I will get some more photo opps with the Belted Kingfisher (Ceryle alcyon). I have seen a few this year, but the fish fry have just been too small for their taste. During my last kayak outing, however, I saw quite a few fry … and they are definitely getting bigger. The Belted Kingfishers are so much fun to watch and be with. I especially enjoy their fishing behaviors, including diving into the water. Such a joy! Here are a couple of images from last summer.

This first image is a female Belted Kingfisher … the females have the reddish-brown belly band, while the male is missing this striking color … with a fresh catch:

Belted Kingfisher female with fresh catch


Often, the Belted Kingfisher seems to only want to partake of his catch when it is “well-done”. To get the catch to this condition, he/she will often repeatedly beat the fish, headfirst, into the limb the bird is perched on, as this female is doing:

Belted Kingfisher slapping fish against tree perch


So, I’ve got my fingers crossed that today will be the day I can again watch and photograph these unique feeding behaviors!  (2012 Note: I have not been able to successfully photograph this timid bird to anything close to the above images … but still crossing my fingers!)

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