Sunday, December 18, 2011

Belted Kingfisher

Kingfisher is one the most difficult birds to be photographed. It's not hard to find their habitat. Actually, they like river and freshwater pond and they mainly consume small fish. They like to watch from a prominent perch and hover over with a kamikaze dive from 20 to 30 feet above the water. The problem is that kingfisher is very alerted type. Not only do they not perch at one location for a very long time, they fly high as soon as they see people come closer. Often time, you hear them calling before spotting them. As a birder, I learned that 80% birds were heard before seeing them. After spotting the location of a kingfisher, the rest is just a waiting game. Get the right lens attached to the camera and just sit at a  close by location and patiently wait for the action!

(Belted Kingfisher, female) Click on picutre to enlarge,

 I snapped this Belted Kingfisher completely out of my expectation. On my routine photo shoot for waterfowl, I decided I was done for the day after photographing some grebes and loons and packed my gears and walked towards parking lot. This loud rapid rattle of "ch!k-k-k-k-" stopped me and I knew a kingfisher was nearby. Hurray! I spotted her with less than 20 seconds, my camera was ready to snap! I was not confident that I could even snap one picture. But I got closer and closer to her, snapped few shots and hoped to see her dive down catching a fish or two.  Strangely, she noticed me coming but did not move a bit. As I waited and snapped, I noticed she was vomiting. Apparently this kingfisher just got a belly full of fish. Instead of plunging her head into water, she regurgitated few fish bones and took off like a breeze :)

Nature and wildlife amaze us when we are least expected. I hope everyone go outside even in a gloomy winter day, you might see or find something wonderous :) Happy birding! -- Linda.


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  1. Havent see one of this.Im glad you got a shot.The top part of the picture should crop at least half of it, and the kingfisher got a bit waxy on it face and body.Should pay more attention to your exposure and enhancement.This my thought.

    Super tweety the silent guardian

  2. Awww...this is a sweet,sweet capture of a bird I seldom get to spot.
    Merry Christmas to a fellow Atlanta Audubon member.:)

  3. Thanks Jean for your kind words! Merry Christmas and happy holiday to you too :)

  4. Thanks Silent Guardian ( name) for your suggestion! I am sure you can snap better with your bazooka lens if you see one. I can not promise you with another shot of this guy too soon bcos they don't come too close. I am still waiting for a foto of Cedar Waxwing or Albatross :)


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