School of Life Sciences | Ask A Biologist

dropdown arrow downdropdown arrow upshow/hide menu

Why is Rudolp's nose red?

Bird Details

Upright Perching Water Birds Upright Perching Water Birds

Belted Kingfisher

Ceryle alcyon

Belted Kingfisher
copyright Jim Burns
Length: 13 in. (33 cm)
Aptly named, this bird eats mainly fish, but this kingfisher is not above taking an occasional aquatic insect, frog, lizard, small bird, mouse or even fruits. The kingfisher sits patiently on an exposed twig over fresh or saltwater or hovers momentarily over the water's surface to dive head first into the water and grab the prey with its long and sharp bill. The nest is a tunnel 3-15 ft (1-5 m) long and dug horizontally by the kingfishers into vertical sandy banks over the water. At the end of the tunnel a rounded and grass-floored nest chamber holds the eggs and later the young. Rarely the belted kingfisher will nest in a tree cavity. The newly fledged young are taught how to fish by the adults dropping dead fish in the water in front of them. During the winter, males and females maintain separate territories. The four-digit banding code is BEKI.

Open water
Open water

Riparian / River forest
Riparian / River forest

Marsh / swamp
Marsh / swamp

There are no audio files saved for this bird.

There are no sonograms saved for this bird.

 

Share to Google Classroom

Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.

dropdown arrow downdropdown arrow up  Learn More

Share to Google Classroom

Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.