Are you interested in large species? Well, we’re going to tell you about one of them! It is one of the medium-sized specimens in his family, but large enough to be a martin. The belted kingfisher.
Typical of the American continent
This species is also known as Megaceryle alcyon, a species of coraciform bird of the family cerylidae, typical of the American continent.
It is perhaps one of the most distributed specimens of the species, as it is found throughout the continent. The United States, Canada, Mexico, the Antilles… He usually lives near areas with a lot of water, such as rivers or streams. They have sometimes been seen in urban areas.
A strong sexual dimorphism
The size of this bird is 28 to 35 cm, with a wingspan of up to 58 cm. Its weight is 140-170 grams, depending on the specimen. It presents a strong sexual dimorphism.
Both sexes have large heads, with a feathery crest, a robust, long black beak and a grey base. The female is brighter in color than the male. The head of both is slate blue, with a white collar, a blue chest band and white underparts.
The back and wings are a deep grey colour, with the tips of the feathers in black, with small white spots. The female stands out for having a reddish band on the upper abdomen, which extends along the flanks. Being small, young people don’t have this band.
Despite being such a widespread species throughout the American continents, no subspecies have been found.
Let’s talk about his behavior
This species has diurnal habits. To get its food, which is usually small or medium sized fish, it rests on a watchtower on a tree. This is what is known as your observation point’. Before submerging, it checks the water for prey and plunges into it, submerging and surfacing in seconds. If the prey is very large, it returns to its watchtower, where it beats it until it kills it or becomes unconscious, so that it can eat it.
Sometimes the water is too cloudy to find a dam. In these cases, they feed on amphibians, small crustaceans, insects or some smaller mammals and reptiles.
Their nest is in a tunnel that both sexes dig at the edge of the nests. They are usually dug uphill, which prevents the chicks from drowning in the event of flooding.
After mating, the female lays three to five eggs. Both parents share in the incubation process, and once a month has passed, the young are born. They will take about a month to leave the nest.