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Belted Kingfisher

Belted Kingfisher
Photo Information
Copyright: Rick Price (Adanac) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2011-04-19
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Canon 5d Mark II, Canon EF 600mm f4.0L IS USM
Exposure: f/7.1, 1/1000 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2011-05-08 4:41
Viewed: 3040
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 24
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Belted Kingfisher
Ceryle alcyon

General Description

By Lee Sollenberger

The Belted Kingfisher is a widespread species found south of the treeline from western Alaska to Newfoundland and throughout continental USA. In winter, some migrate as far as northern South America. It is an uncommon to common specie throughout Alberta wherever there are clear streams, shallow lakes or beaver ponds. It needs nearby exposed banks for nesting.

It is equally at home in urban and rural areas, wherever its habitat requirements are met. Mostly solitary and somewhat shy, it is regularly found from mid April to late October along the Bow & Elbow Rivers and Fish Creek within the city of Calgary. There are always a few, mostly males, that try to overwinter along open stretches of water.

This large-headed, bushy-crested bird is dependent upon aquatic life, mainly small fish. It also takes tadpoles, small adult frogs and larger invertebrates. From its perch, or while hovering, it plunges headfirst into the water to capture its prey, then slamming it against a branch to beat it to death before swallowing it.

Lucy and I had a great time watching this female Belted Kingfisher diving time and again into the water trying to catch a meal. She finally came close enough for an image but was gone in a flash once more.

The nest is usually near the top of a vertical earthen bank, tunneled slightly above horizontal to an average depth of 2 m. In digging it, both adults take turns, using their beak to excavate and claws to push loose material backward. Regurgitated fish bones are often the only nest material. An average of six or seven pure white, nearly round eggs are laid and incubated mostly by the female for up to 24 days. The young, fed by both parents, leave the nest at 30 to 35 days.

CeltickRanger, PaulLees, Alex99 has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Rick

I have a Kingfisher photo (shot in 2008) but
it is not TNable, i leaved in my archives,
an excellent photo of the Belted Kingfisher
with fine POV and framing, excellent focus
sharpness and details, the snowy environment
with the Kingfisher it is giving an
atmosphere (ambiane) effect to the image, TFS


Great shot Rick,

Glad to see you are dding your valuable contributions to TN again. Love the setting with the frost. I have tried several times during my trip to North America but nect got this close


  • Great 
  • Art_R Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 244 W: 20 N: 839] (3892)
  • [2011-05-08 5:25]

Hi Rick , congrats with this image of a kingfisher , I have tried but never seem to manage to get any where near them... , this one is quite nice , I like the extra interest of the frosted branches , the bird is good and clear with nice detail , plus a good soft background , nice one!. TFS & regards

  • Great 
  • nagraj Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1618 W: 106 N: 3208] (15166)
  • [2011-05-08 6:32]

Very interesting colors and good composition for this lovely kingfisher. beautiful image. tfs.

Hi Rick,

Amazing image of The Belted Kingfisher almost monochromatic, outstanding exposure control under the harsh lighting conditions,
Good sharp and detailed fur texture, lovely natural colour and impressive out of focus background, fabulous picture and well done,
Congratulations Rick, have a nice Sunday,
Best Regards,


  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2011-05-08 8:39]

Hello Rick,
Very beautiful photo of this Belted Kingfisher in beautiful natural colours. Fantastic wintery atmosphere. Good sharpness and composition.

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2011-05-08 9:04]

Hi Rick.
What a unique and wonderful silver colour palette of the image and charming pictured bird. Its hairdress and colouration as well as cute pose are amazing. Tree branches create a fine patter and smooth grey canvas is the best BG for the scene. Compliments and kind regards.

  • Great 
  • zetu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 26 N: 3888] (16941)
  • [2011-05-08 10:16]

Hello Rick
Very nice composition
Thanks for sharing

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2011-05-08 19:37]

Hello Rick,
I have yet to be able to capture an image of a Kingfisher. I see them here on TN and they are always so beautiful, but the ones I see are always so elusive that they never give me the opportunity to take a shot.
This Kingfisher photo is particularly attractive because it is probably the first one I have seen with snow in it. The plumage is so beautiful and the focus is superb. Overall a great photo and one in which you can be proud to have in your gallery. Well done!!

Hello Rick,
Wonderful macro, fantastic bird with an amazing disheveled plumage. Excellent composition, sharpness and colors.
Best regards

wow, real art, almost like a painting, TFS Ori

Very interesting combination of Kingfisher and snow Rick! Beautiful photo with excellent composition, wonderful colours and good sharpness.

Wow! Talk about a vibrant bird. I love the brown rainbow pattern on his chest. This is a real prize photo. Wonderful catch! TFS Trevor

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