Megaceryle alcyon

Common Names: Belted kingfisher
Category: Birds
Sub-category: Kingfishers

It is depicted on the 1986 series Canadian $5 note. The belted kingfisher is a stocky, medium-sized bird that measures between 11 to 14 inches in length with a wingspan of between 19 to 23 inches. The adult female averages slightly larger than the adult male. It has a large head with a shaggy crest. Its long, heavy bill is black with a grey base. These features are common in many kingfisher species. This kingfisher shows sexual dimorphism, with the female more brightly coloured than the male. Both sexes have a slate blue head, large white collar, a large blue band on the breast, and white underparts. The back and wings are slate blue with black feather tips with little white dots. The female features a rufous band across the upper belly that extends down the flanks. Juveniles of this species are similar to adults, but both sexes feature the rufous band on the upper belly. Juvenile males will have a rufous band that is somewhat mottled while the band on females will be much thinner than that on adult females.

The belted kingfisher is often seen perched prominently on trees, posts, or other suitable 'watchpoints' close to water before plunging in head first after its fish prey. They also eat amphibians, small crustaceans, insects, small mammals and reptiles.

Edible Notes: No available information on edibility.
Warnings: Not known to be dangerous.