Sunday, February 19, 2012
The dry rattle call of the Belted Kingfisher is unmistakable. Our house is on the shore of a small lake - a pond really. Yesterday I heard that call and spotted the bird in a scrub willow. Any visit from a Kingfisher is welcome. This solitary bird occupies all but the most frozen north of the North American continent. Winters in Mexico, summers in the north country even out on the taiga and tundra of Canada and Alaska. Kingfishers burrow into muddy or gravel banks for their nest. Their tunnel can extend as much as 8 feet, sloping upward from the entrance hole. I especially like that the female Belted Kingfisher has brighter plumage than the male, one of only a few species in which fashion is feminine. My visitor was a girl. She watched, waited and dove, making her rattling cry as she launched. You go girl.