scanned copy of the drawing but the platen
wasn’t big enough to capture the whole thing, so…
cell phone photo of the drawing
I first heard about Draw a Bird Day when I saw Kerfe Roig’s post with one. Since then I learned there is a Draw a Bird website with a gallery full of bird drawings. The 8th of the month is the day of the month to post them.
The belted kingfisher is indigenous to this area. When I was growing up, my grandparents lived near a creek and marshland, areas that kingfishers like to live. Where I live now, near a creek, the also like. I’ve heard their distinctive call out back.
The belted kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon) is a large, conspicuous water kingfisher. It is depicted on the 1986 series Canadian $5 note. All kingfishers were formerly placed in one family, Alcedinidae, but recent research suggests that this should be divided into three subfamilies.
The only kingfisher in the majority of its range, the belted kingfisher’s breeding habitat is near inland bodies of waters or coasts across most of North America, within Canada, Alaska and the United States. They migrate from the northern parts of its range to the southern United States, Mexico, Central America, and the West Indies in winter. It is a rare visitor to the northern areas of Colombia, Venezuela, and the Guianas. During migration it may stray far from land; the species is recorded as an accidental visitor on several Pacific islands, such as Cocos Island, Malpelo Island, Hawaii, the Azores, Clarion Island, and has occurred as an extremely rare vagrant in Ecuador, Greenland, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, and the United Kingdom. The southernmost records of M. alcyon are from the Galapagos Archipelago, insular Ecuador, where it occurs as a migrant in small numbers but apparently not every year.
It leaves northern parts of its range when the water freezes; in warmer areas, it is a permanent resident. A few individuals may linger in the north even in the coldest winters except in the Arctic, if there are remaining open bodies of water.
The belted kingfisher is often seen perched prominently on trees, posts, or other suitable “watchpoints” close to water before plunging in head first after its fish prey. They also eat amphibians, small crustaceans, insects, small mammals and reptiles.
This bird nests in a horizontal tunnel made in a river bank or sand bank and excavated by both parents. The female lays five to eight eggs and both adults incubate the eggs and feed the young. The nest of the belted kingfisher is a long tunnel and often slopes uphill. One possible reason for the uphill slope is that, in case of flooding, the chicks will be able to survive in the air pocket formed by the elevated end of the tunnel.