“When birds burp, it must taste like bugs.” – Bill Watterson
Cute and Good at Catching Fish
If it’s a kingfisher, however, that burp will taste more like fish, especially if it lives in North America.
Although there are three species of kingfishers –among the 30 or so that roam this planet – that call America home, the only common one is the belted kingfisher. It can be seen in all of the mainland’s 49 states.
My first view of this bird took place on the Big Hole River in Montana, where I saw it sitting on a log that leaned out over the water. It was waiting for a fish to come within bill range.
I sat quietly, not too far away, until I saw the bird make a successful catch. I still remember the thrill of that moment.
I saw the second of America’s kingfishers, the ringed, at Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park. This southern tip of Texas is the only place the bird can be seen in this country. The Rio Grande Valley is also habitat for the green kingfisher, which I’m still hoping one day to see. I might get lucky. The green kingfisher also comes up from Mexico to visit southeastern Arizona, which is my current home.
Meanwhile I have five more kingfishers on my life list. The collared kingfisher, which I saw on the island of Rota near Guam, and four that I saw while on safari in Africa: the pied, woodland and malachite in Kenya and the grey-headed in Tanzania. Just 23 more to go now.
And just for the record, the pied kingfisher was among my favorites of the 182 life birds I saw during my two-week visit to Africa.
Bean’s Pat: http://tinyurl.com/mhc93p8 My favorite blogger is out of her element, but still making science fun. I particularly loved waking up this morning to the Periodic Table song.