Fall is here. One of the first “snowbirds” to arrive is the belted kingfisher. A sturdy and stocky bird, belted kingfishers most often are spotted perching near estuaries, streams, ponds, rivers, or lakes. They plunge from their perch to catch small fish.
Thank you to Linda Lee Leonard for sharing this striking photo. You may know Linda and her husband Tom from the iconic Vero Beach Book Center, which is often a beloved destination for human snowbirds.
Her photo shows a male belted kingfisher. Females have bright chestnut markings on their bellies and flanks. They are one of few species of birds in which the females sport more colorful markings. Click here to learn more about belted kingfishers from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.