Ringed Kingfisher

Even though I've been unable to make my weekly bird surveys on the Bunny Run for the past few months, I'm still working next door until Thanksgiving, and I'm still getting out most days to look for birds for a few minutes at lunchtime. Friday at lunchtime I found a Ringed Kingfisher!

The common kingfisher in central Texas (and the United States) is the Belted Kingfisher, and I have seen or heard them now and then on or by the Bunny Run. They're a little bigger than a Blue Jay and have a very distinctive rattling call. Ringed Kingfishers are big -- almost the size of a crow -- and you used to have to travel to extreme south Texas to find one. Like many other birds, Ringed Kingfishers have been expanding their range northwards, and now they can occasionally be found on the Colorado River in the Austin area.

When I went outside yesterday I almost immediately heard the much lower and slower rattling call of a Ringed Kingfisher coming from the cypress trees along the lake's edge. I eventually found it, but only briefly saw it as it left the trees and flew to the other side of the lake. Fortunately, a little latter it returned and perched on one of the fence posts in the water at the northeast corner of the the preserve. I was able to get a poor photo of it by holding my iPhone up to my binoculars. And I was also able to record a little bit of its call.

The photo and audio clip are posted on iNaturalist here:


I sure do love my iPhone -- with this little device I was able to take advantage of an unexpected opportunity to document the expanding range of this amazing species of bird.

Posted by mikaelb mikaelb, November 09, 2013 19:44


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