Belted Kingfisher (M) (Megaceryle alcyon)
For the past few months, I have attempted to acquire a pleasing and clear photograph of a Belted Kingfisher. I had observed their perching and hunting circuit behavior, spent hours in a blind at various distances and, on most occasions, came away empty. Kingfishers routinely thwart photographic attempts by always seeming to perch with at least one random piece of vegetation or tree limb between themselves and the camera creating a line across part of the bird. During winter, Kingfishers need open water to “fish,” and survive the season. This winter has been mixed, so far, with local waters cyclically freezing and thawing . This morning I headed out before dawn to scope my intended area and initially came away empty, so I opted for another location. I intended to return to my original area after a short while. While plodding along on the road, I spotted a Kingfisher perched in a tree. As I slow to a stop, the bird flew away, as they usually do — they don’t like too much company. Understanding that Kingfishers will use a fairly defined hunting circuit, I decided to return to my original area assuming this to be the same bird I had seen previously. As I approached a line of fence posts running adjacent to a pond; there it was. I approached as slowly as I could. Being inconspicuous is not a typically assigned attribute of my vehicle. To my surprise, he stuck to his selected fence post. (Sticky birds are those that “stick” to their perch, do not immediately take flight, and are somewhat tolerant of viewing or being photographed if approached cautiously) I was able to watch as it dove off its fencepost into the pond and returned with small fish numerous times. Persistence and patience…
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