I was walking along the bank of a local river Thanksgiving morning when I spotted a bird fly across the water and land on some branches near the water’s edge. I zoomed in and spotted a bird I had never seen before. It was a great distance as it was across the river from where I stood so I was not able to get photos as clear as I would have liked. It was also very overcast so the lack of light didn’t help and I was more intent on capturing a few shots before he took flight than figuring out how to do something about the lack of light. (Marilyn where were you when I needed you???) I got home and googled a description of this bird and found it was a female Belted Kingfisher.
According some of the bird websites: The belted kingfisher is the only member of the Kingfisher group commonly found in the northern United States and Canada. Unlike most birds where the male is more dominantly colored, 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. It nests in burrows along earthen banks and feeds almost entirely on aquatic prey, diving to catch fish and crayfish with its heavy, straight bill.
My smile for the week was spotting this never seen before by me bird- and a real beauty at that!