Migratory Birds of the Great Lakes University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute
 about habitat birds + science 20 birds
aerialist raptors
copyright UW Sea Grant, writer: L. Wiland, design: T. Yao contact us credits

Belted Kingfisher, Ceryle alcyon

A common waterside resident throughout North America, the Belted Kingfisher is often seen perched on a branch overlooking a river or lakeshore, or hovering in the air before it plunges headfirst into water to catch a fish.

Legend tells that Noah, after releasing a dove from the ark to search for dry land, next released a kingfisher. The foolish bird flew high into the sky (thus its blue back) but too close to the sun, which scorched the bird’s breast (thus the female’s rusty chest band). Noah was so irritated that he made the bird stay on the deck of the ark and catch her food from the water.

ML Reeb writer: Laurence Wiland design: T. Yao