Belted kingfisher on the refuge

Published 6:49 pm Friday, December 1, 2023

This belted kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon) was seen on Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge.

“When you think of bird nests most of us think of trees, barns, buildings, even cliffs. And the nests are a variety of structures built up and out of the way,” stated USFWS.

“But the belted kingfisher makes a burrow in the earth and mud along the banks of streams, rivers, canals, lakes, gravel pits, ditches, etc. Belted kingfishers have sturdy bills great for digging in the dirt to create their nest and for catching fish, crayfish and other aquatic food sources. Because their nests are low and in the ground, it’s no surprise that some of the Belted Kingfisher’s predators are mink, rats, cats and other ground-based animals.”

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They are active birds, patrolling up and down the nearest water sources, always ready to dive down and snag a meal.

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