Fauna Flora Photography

Belted Kingfisher Megaceryle alcyon

A mid-sized bird, frequently spotted along the shores of lakes and rivers. The bird sits on a branch looking for fishes and then suddenly dives at high speed into the water to catch a fish. Also spectacular are the birds territorial fight with other Kingfishers over fishing grounds.


Aves > Coraciiformes > Alcedinidae

Names in different Languages

EnglishBelted Kingfisher
FrenchMartin-pêcheur d'Amérique
SpanishMartín gigante norteamericano

How to Identify

To identify this bird, I look at the bill which is long and strong. They are grey [females] or almost blue [males] on the back and white on the front. Females have a second band, brown in colour. The strategy to catch fishes by sitting on a branch and then suddenly dive with high speed to catch a fish is another hint.

Where When to Spot

I spotted them in Park Angrignon and Rapids Park Lachine. Although, they are frequently seen in urban parks, they remain shy and change the branch with a intense chatter if humans get too close.

Parc Angrignon 0 4 1 0
Parc Nature Pointe aux Prairies 1 0 0 0
Parc des Rapides 0 3 1 0
  1 7 2 0

Number of times a species has been observed, identified, and recorded. A species is reported only once per visit to a park.

Photos of Belted Kingfisher

Last updated on 2023-05-06. Written and regularly updated by Karl-Heinz Müller, Dipl. Natw. ETH, Biology. With 10 years of experience in wildlife photography, Karl-Heinz shares first-hand, on-site collected observations, photos and videos from his frequent visits to parks in the Montreal area.