Bird of the Week: Belted Kingfisher

Belted kingfishers are robin-sized birds found along our local waterways. As the name implies, kingfishers feed mostly on fish however they will also eat crayfish, mollusks, insects, amphibians, and small mammals. Look for kingfishers on branches overhanging the water where they can watch for prey to swim by. Once they spot prey, the kingfisher will dive from their perch with their eyes closed. You may also notice kingfishers are able to hover above the water while hunting when perches aren’t available. Once they catch their prey, kingfishers will return to a perch where they can beat their prey against the perch until they are able to swallow it head first. Young belted kingfishers eat their prey whole but as they grow they begin discarding pellets of scales and bones.