King of the Fishers

Have you ever watched a kingfisher on the hunt? The bird will often perch high above the water on a tree, pole or power line, waiting patiently for a small fish to pass by. Then it leaps into action, plunging headfirst into the water, opening its bill just as it reaches its target.  It is not always successful but then, what fisherman is?  It may briefly hover over the water if the potential target moves out of reach before it gets there and will then attempt a plunge.

Often this bird is heard before it is seen. It utters a loud, raucous rattling call at the slightest concern, frequently in flight. The Belted Kingfisher gets its name from a prominent breast marking. The female has an extra brown marking below.  It achieved national attention in 1986 when it was featured on the $5 bill as part of the series featuring Canadian birds on the back of our currency.

Happy Birding!

Brian Morin

Publisher of Ontario Birding News

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