The belted kingfisher is just about everyone’s nemesis bird … I don’t think that I’m alone on that one. As a rule, I think that I’ve seen them along the side of the highway quite often, however, as soon as I would apply the brakes … of it would fly. Sure, I could sometimes sneak an image of them when they were busy hovering over the water, as they carefully timed their lunge for a fish. But I wanted some portrait shots of them as well.
Towards the end of 2016, I got my chance. By using the benefit of photographing from a blind, I was able to spend some time with this beautiful female belted kingfisher.At first, I was quite thrilled just to see her … closer than I had ever been. The female possesses that lovely rust colored “necklace” across its chest. I never realized just how beautiful they were with their markings in their feathers.I marveled at her long pointy beak, which allows her to pluck small fish out of the waters surface.This gal was quit skilled too. She used the entire pond area to fish from. I found it difficult to follow her darting flight to and from her chosen perch. I often settled for the shot of when she would return … fish hanging from her beak … as she would seem work it a bit to make the consumption task easier. Such a feisty little gal she was.Sometimes she would find other places to rest in between her fishing runs. I was thankful it was winter, for the bare trees. Of course, belted kingfishers migrate during the winter, so I guess it would be no other way.But mostly she had a favorite perch. I just love the chestnut marking on her. I never realized that it was so vast.We observed her hunt quite a bit, but by far my favorite activity of hers was when she would preen … it was all I could do to keep the squealing to myself. LOLWhat a great time we had spending a few hours with the elusive belted kingfisher. It was an experience that I won’t soon forget.
Next up: More birding from Florida
© 2016 Debbie Tubridy / TNWA Photography