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Belted Kingfisher

Scientific name: Megaceryle alcyon

The Belted Kingfisher occurs in every U.S. state except Hawaii, and is widespread in Canada, Mexico, and Central America as well. The oldest fossil record for a kingfisher in North America was found in Florida, and was of a species that is today extinct, and not a Belted Kingfisher.

While Belted Kingfishers eat a wide variety of items including crayfish, amphibians, reptiles, and insects, small fish are the kingfisher’s main food source. Clear water and overhead perches are important for kingfishers to locate a fish swimming near the surface. The kingfisher then plunges into the water to grab the fish with its bill, and carries it off to a perch where the fish is pounded against a branch before being eaten.