The Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon) is a fairly common bird. Unfortunately for photographers, they are rather skittish. They also tend to hang out on wires and human-made structures near water. I was pleased when at Viera Wetlands in Florida to find one working around a dead palm tree. Although he was some distance away, the lighting was decent and it was possible to crop the photos to get some nice images. All of these images are of the same bird. It is a male (there was a female much further away that I could see, but could not get a photo of…) The male is distinguished from the female by the lack of an orange band below the blue band on the white breast. Belted Kingfishers are found around North America, but usually winter in the south where there is open water. Fossils of kingfishers that are 2 million years old have been found in Florida a little over 100 miles from where I took these shots. I assumed this bird was building a nest on the top of the palm. I assumed that because he kept returning to the perch without and fish, but with grasses. I learned later that Belted Kingfishers nest in burrows along earthen banks. Perhaps, he was just scouting the area before taking the material to the burrow. Really, I have no real idea!

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