Belted Kingfishers are never far from water. They can be found along creeks, streams, rivers, ponds, lakes and the shores of the Great Lakes during the breeding season. In addition to its need for clear, fish-inhabited waters, Kingfishers also prefer areas with steep sand banks, bluffs or ravines, into which they burrow their nests.
Individual Kingfishers often claim their own "beat," a stretch of stream or lakeshore where a bird likes to hunt and rest on favorite perching posts—usually overhanging tree limbs—along the way. During breeding season, the Belted Kingfisher pair defends its joint territory against other Kingfishers. On average, a “territory” along a stream includes about 1000 feet of streambed and the vegetation along it. Though they eat mainly fish, Belted Kingfishers may dine on crabs, crayfish, salamanders, frogs, lizards, mice, insects and the occasional berry.