British Columbia Outdoor Wilderness Guide
Description - This pigeon sized bird, the belted
kingfisher is blue-grey above and white below with a bushy
crest and dagger-like bill. The male has a blue-grey breast
band; the female is similar but also has a chestnut belly
band. The call is a loud, penetrating rattle.
Distribution - The belted kingfisher breeds from Alaska
east across southern Canada and throughout most of the
U.S.A. They winter on the Pacific coast north to Alaska.
They inhabit rivers, lakes and saltwater estuaries. Look
for the image of the Belted Kingfisher on the back of
Canada's five dollar bill.
Biology -The belted kingfisher perches conspicuously
on a tree limb over a river or lake while searching for
fish; they sometimes feed on lizards and insects. When
flying from one perch to another they often fly with uneven
wing beats, uttering it's rattling call as it goes. The
nest is at the end of an unlined chamber dug in a sand
or gravel bank where 5-8 white eggs are laid.