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Ringed Kingfisher

Silhouette KingfishersKingfishers
Ringed KingfisherMegaceryle torquata
  • ORDER: Coraciiformes
  • FAMILY: Alcedinidae

Basic Description

The loud and brash Ringed Kingfisher looks like a super-sized version of a Belted Kingfisher. This steely blue and rich chestnut bird is nearly the size of an American Crow, with a massive, daggerlike bill it uses to grab fish out of freshwater rivers and lakes. It often perches for long periods in the open on a bare branch, bridge, or utility wire over water. Common in much of Latin America, it barely reaches into the U.S. in southern Texas.

More ID Info
image of range map for Ringed Kingfisher
Year-roundBreedingMigrationNonbreeding
Range map provided by Birds of the World
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Find This Bird

Ringed Kingfishers are not shy. They perch out in the open along rivers and lakes, often on the most prominent and conspicuous perches. Their large size (much larger than Belted), distinctive shape, and loud calls make them easy to recognize in suitable habitat throughout their range. Although they hunt mostly over freshwater, you might also find them in sheltered brackish and saltwater environments.

Other Names

  • Martín Gigante Neotropical (Spanish)
  • Martin-pêcheur à ventre roux (French)
  • Cool Facts

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