31 Cool Bird Facts #15 – Belted Kingfisher

Kingfishers come in many sizes and colors, but the most common North American one is the Belted Kingfisher [Megaceryle alcyon]. Found exclusively along bodies of water, these crested birds have an excellent nesting strategy and defend their territories vigorously.

Belted Kingfisher

During breeding season the Belted Kingfisher pair defends a territory against other kingfishers. A territory along a stream includes just the streambed and the vegetation along it, and averages 1 km (0.6 mi) long. The nest burrow is usually in a dirt bank near water. The tunnel slopes upward from the entrance, perhaps to keep water from entering the nest. Tunnel length ranges from 30 to 250 cm (1 to 8 ft). – Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s All About Birds

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