Belted Kingfisher

(Megaceryle alcyon)

Conservation Status
Belted Kingfisher
Photo by Kate Fitzgerald
  IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

     
  NatureServe

N5B, N5N - Secure Breeding and Nonbreeding

SNRB, SNRN - Unranked Breeding, Unranked Nonbreeding

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
 
Description
 
 

 

 
     
 

Size

 
 

11 to 14 in length

20 wingspan

 
     
 

Voice

 
   
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Rivers, large streams, lakes, and beaver ponds

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Migration

 
 

Early March to late November

 
     
 

Nesting

 
 

 

 
     
 

Food

 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common migrant and breeder

 
         
 

Maps

 
 

The Minnesota Ornithologists’ Union All Seasons Species Occurrence Map

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Class Aves (birds)  
 

Order

Coraciiformes (kingfishers and allies)  
 

Family

Alcedinidae (kingfishers)  
 

Subfamily

Cerylinae  
 

Genus

Megaceryle (large crested kingfishers)  
       
 

The Belted Kingfisher was formerly named Ceryle alcyon. Along with three other large kingfishers, it was formerly placed in the genus Ceryle with the Pied Kingfisher. Phylogenetic and mitochondrial DNA analysis shows that Pied Kingfisher is more closely related to the American green kingfishers than to the other four kingfishers. The four kingfishers were subsequently separated as the new genus Megaceryle.

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Ceryle alcyon

Megaceryle alcyon alcyon

Megaceryle alcyon caurina

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
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Dan W. Andree

 
 

Kingfisher...and also a Woodchuck...

While out near a creek and bluff one day I was able to sneak up on a Kingfisher. I have seen them before but the spook real easy. While I was filming it I would at times try sneak a little over to get a better view through the trees since there was a breeze blowing the branches at times back and forth. One time while I was trying to do that when I stopped and focused the kingfisher in noticed a woodchuck was there. I believe it either came from down below or came down the bluff. There was a hole near the very top of the bluff. It climbed right back up. I didn’t expect a woodchuck to climb cup a sand bluff or that it even could but it did. I only got footage of where it is in the frame grab and it climbing back up. I didn’t follow it up since I was more focused on getting the kingfisher. Made it interesting. Nice setting for around here.

  Belted Kingfisher  
       
    Belted Kingfisher  
         
 

Kingfisher.....

I believe this is a Kingfisher. I noticed it perched high above a stream on a dead tree limb in front of a sand cliff in rural Norman Co. Mn. It appeared to be watching the water area below possibly for any small fish etc. swimming in the stream. Made for an interesting photo.

  Belted Kingfisher  
 

Bird lover

 
    Belted Kingfisher      
 

Lynn Rubey

 
  A female Belted Kingfisher perched on a branch over a stream waiting for its next meal near the bridge in The Big Stone Wildlife Refuge in Lac qui Parle County.   Belted Kingfisher  
           
  A female Belted Kingfisher hanging out on a branch over a stream in The Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge. The female Belted Kingfisher has a rusty colored breast band and flank.   Belted Kingfisher  
           
  A Female Belted Kingfisher on a dead tree limb over a stream near the Minnesota River in The Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge along the auto tour route.   Belted Kingfisher  
 

Kate Fitzgerald

 
  I heard this Kingfisher make a loud SPLAT into the lake before I saw him fly up into a tree. I expected him to be carrying his catch, but apparently it got away from him because he was empty-handed.   Belted Kingfisher  
           
 
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Camera

 

     
 
Slideshows
 
  Belted Kingfisher
JMC Nature Photos
 
  Belted Kingfisher  
  Belted Kingfisher
jt893x
 
  Belted Kingfisher  
  Belted Kingfisher
Joshua Mayer
 
  Belted Kingfisher  
 
About

Ceryle alcyon

 
  Kingfishers
Craig A. Mullenbach
 
  Kingfishers  

 

slideshow

       
 
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Bird lover

 
  Belted Kingfisher 01
5/3/2021
 
   
 
About

Green Heron (Butorides virescens)
Woodbury, MN
5/3/2021
diving for fish
Video by Bird lover
http://www.minnesotaseasons.com/Birds/Belted_Kingfisher.html

   
       
 
Other Videos
 
  Hastings Park Megaceryle alcyon
wetvideocamera
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Feb 8, 2011

This female Belted Kingfisher was on the alert for fish in the ponds at Hastings Park Sanctuary, Vancouver, BC. While waiting for some action the kingfisher's rival, the Great Blue Heron waded through behind.

( Megaceryle alcyon ) July 2003

 
  Belted Kingfisher
naturalist97333
 
   
 
About

Published on Dec 20, 2009

Belted Kingfishers are both elegant and comical. Enjoy watching kingfishers call, fish and express themselves with their crazy Mohawk crest.

 
  Belted Kingfisher (Ceryle alcyon)
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Published on May 28, 2013

This female Belted Kingfisher (Ceryle alcyon) was photographed at the Turtle River State Park, North Dakota (28 May 2013).

 
  Belted Kingfisher HD720
Sparky Stensaas
 
   
 
About

Published on Oct 6, 2013

With apologies to Kevin Costner and the creators of the movie, Field of Dreams, I have modified the phrase "Build it and they will come." to "Place it and they will come" and by "it" I'm referring to a convenient perch for a bird.

In this case, I had often seen and heard Belted Kingfishers at a nearby marsh. But they were usually perched far out in the water (Where there were perches!). Not great for photos. Plus, Kingfishers are one of the most spooky of all birds...Meaning they fly at the first sight of a human. So I found a spot on the edge of the marsh where I could get a clear view of the water. I found a good looking perch in my woods at home, hauled it to the spot and stuck it in the mud. I set up my pop-up blind about 20 yards away and waited....But I didn't have to wait very long as a Belted Kingfisher found the perch within 15 minutes!

 
  Belted Kingfisher with Wingscapes BirdCam
Wingscapes
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Dec 23, 2007

The Wingscapes BirdCam http://www.wingscapes.com/ took this video of this female Belted Kingfisher as it fished from the top of a lakeside fish feeder.

A new Bird Camera, BirdCam 2.0 with Flash, is available at http://www.wingscapes.com. It takes photos and videos of backyard birds and wildlife while you are away.

Please feel free to leave comments and rate our videos.

 
       

 

Camcorder

 
 
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Jim Breza
7/10/2021

Location:  Winona, MN

I had one for the past week feeding on my goldfish, twice a day, that I know of.  It is a smaller one but today I seen the small one and now a large Kingfisher, also.  It is getting frustrating  as they are feasting well.  It is a large pond so I am thinking I will lay a net out over the water to discourage them and hopefully force them to move elsewhere.

They are quite the site to watch, in action.  We had a strong  rain storm this week and that Fisher pulled three fish during the storm.  The water was so distorted by the downpour I do not know how it could even see one fish through it but it was successful, all three times!

 
  Dan W. Andree
May 2021

Location: Norman Co., Mn.

While out near a creek and bluff one day I was able to sneak up on a Kingfisher. I have seen them before but the spook real easy. While I was filming it I would at times try sneak a little over to get a better view through the trees since there was a breeze blowing the branches at times back and forth. One time while I was trying to do that when I stopped and focused the kingfisher in noticed a woodchuck was there. I believe it either came from down below or came down the bluff. There was a hole near the very top of the bluff. It climbed right back up. I didn’t expect a woodchuck to climb cup a sand bluff or that it even could but it did. I only got footage of where it is in the frame grab and it climbing back up. I didn’t follow it up since I was more focused on getting the kingfisher. Made it interesting. Nice setting for around here.

Belted Kingfisher

 
 

Bird lover
4/15/2021

Location: Woodbury, MN

Belted Kingfisher

 
  Lynn Rubey
5/11/2020

Location: Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge

A female Belted Kingfisher perched on a branch over a stream waiting for its next meal near the bridge in The Big Stone Wildlife Refuge in Lac qui Parle County.

Belted Kingfisher

 
  Lynn Rubey
8/20/2019

Location: Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge

A female Belted Kingfisher hanging out on a branch over a stream in The Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge. The female Belted Kingfisher has a rusty colored breast band and flank.

Belted Kingfisher

 
  Dan W. Andree
7/21/2019

Location: rural Norman Co., Mn.

I believe this is a Kingfisher. I noticed it perched high above a stream on a dead tree limb in front of a sand cliff in rural Norman Co. Mn. It appeared to be watching the water area below possibly for any small fish etc. swimming in the stream. Made for an interesting photo.

Belted Kingfisher

 
  Kate Fitzgerald
7/28/2018

Location: Lake Louise State Park

I heard this Kingfisher make a loud SPLAT into the lake before I saw him fly up into a tree. I expected him to be carrying his catch, but apparently it got away from him because he was empty-handed.

Belted Kingfisher

 
  Gloria Pfeifer
4/9/2016

Location: north shore of Lake Minnewaska, 1.5 miles from Starbuck,Mn

we see one Belted Kingfisher on our shoreline every year, it stays for the summer, it sits in the trees along the shore and on the dock

 
           
 
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