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Posts Tagged ‘skittish’

The Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon) is probably the most skittish bird that I try to photograph. No matter how hard I try to sneak up on one, it always seems to fly away before I can get close. Quite often I hear the kingfisher’s distinctive rattling call and never even see the bird.

The first image is a long-distance shot of one from last week at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge. The kingfisher is relatively small in the frame, but I love the pattern of the branches in the shot.

The second image shows a female Belted Kingfisher perched on a metal post sticking out of the water on Monday at the same wildlife refuge. Generally I prefer natural vice man-made perches, but in this case I like the little “forest” of metal posts and their beautiful reflections in the water. How do I know that it is a female? Only female Belted Kingfishers have the chestnut-colored stripe on their breasts, one of the few cases in bird world in which the female is more colorful than the male.

Belted Kingfisher

Belted Kingfisher

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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