Belted Kingfisher Visits

The Belted Kingfisher is a stocky, large-headed bird that is a year-round resident around the Chesapeake Bay area.  On occasion I’ll see one perched on a phone line alongside the road and marsh.  You are lucky if you can stop the car and quickly snap a quality photo, they are so flighty!

So you can imagine why I think it is a real treat when a Belted Kingfisher visits our Osprey nest platform during the fall/winter months.  They aren’t one to stay long, just a stop, do a little fishing, then move on.  But they do seem to like the perch and come often.  You just have to have a sharp eye to catch a sighting of these tiny birds a few hundred feet out on the platform.

Here’s a series from one recent morning, when I finally got lucky in capturing one doing a little fishing.

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With the everlasting warm temps we have been experiencing this season, we’ve had a lot of fog around the water.  Here’s another photo taken around the same time on another morning of heavy fog. The Belted Kingfisher only sat for a minute and was gone.  I don’t think he could see down in the water to sight any fish.  It was time to move on to find breakfast elsewhere!

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With my distance, the photos did not do justice for such a pretty bird.  To show what he looks like, the next two are my favorite captures of the Belted Kingfisher, taken at Chincoteague NWR, Virginia, a few years back.

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See?  I told you he was a pretty bird!  🙂

I was contacted by Carol Bucklin, a local professional Maryland painter, requesting to paint the Belted Kingfisher from my last photo above.  I, of course, said yes!  Please go to Carol’s link to see her oil painting, which I am proud to add has sold!  You won’t be disappointed.

Thanks for stopping by, enjoy your weekend!

37 thoughts on “Belted Kingfisher Visits

  1. Kingfishers are fast.. and area tough subject to photograph. You have succeeded admirably! In addition to the great “portrait” shots… I especially like the shots of him (her?) emerging from the water with his “fresh catch of the day”! 🙂

  2. Great bird, and well captured! I’ve only seen them a couple times…enough to know you’ve got to be quick to get such a good image. Happy new year!

  3. I always tell myself that any photo of a kingfisher is a good one, they are about the most wary bird that there is. You did an excellent job coming up with so many really good photos of them!

    • For as many times I’ve stopped the car (or hollered to my husband to stop, lol) to try to snap a photo of one on a phone line, AND he’s gone before you can, I’ll take these! 🙂

    • Thank you, Helen! All summer long I work on trying to photograph the sequence of the Osprey fishing, I love the challenge of getting the series BUT being spot on & in focus, real tough, lol. They don’t give us notice to be ready and it happens so fast! 😉

  4. I love these guys, but see them so rarely. And you’re absolutely right, they don’t sit still for very long. Great series of photos. You were lucky indeed to get so many, especially fishing.

    • I’ve missed him fishing so many times, because of his quickness. I purposely stood there this time and kept telling him I was ready, and then he went. I was thrilled and hoped I at least got a couple shots in focus. Yes, it is luck for sure! 🙂 AND I love the challenge!

  5. Loved the photos in flight with the fish! Such beautiful birds. I have one in the pond down the road that seems to play hide and seek with me. He hides when I have my camera and comes out when I don’t!

  6. Priceless, Donna! Absolutely beautiful. I adore these birds and your action shots are just amazing. The close shots of the female are gorgeous too. She looks content. 🙂

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