Megaceryle alcyon - (Linnaeus, 1758)
Belted Kingfisher
Other English Common Names: belted kingfisher
Synonym(s): Ceryle alcyon (Linnaeus, 1758)
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Megaceryle alcyon (Linnaeus, 1758) (TSN 178106)
French Common Names: martin-pêcheur d'Amérique
Spanish Common Names: Martín-Pescador Norteño
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.105467
Element Code: ABNXD01020
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Birds - Other Birds
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Aves Coraciiformes Alcedinidae Megaceryle
Genus Size: B - Very small genus (2-5 species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). 1998. Check-list of North American birds. Seventh edition. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C. [as modified by subsequent supplements and corrections published in The Auk]. Also available online: http://www.aou.org/.
Concept Reference Code: B98AOU01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Ceryle alcyon
Taxonomic Comments: Megaceryle was formerly (AOU 1993, 1998) treated as a subgenus of Ceryle Boie, but is returned to earlier generic status (AOU 1957) on the basis of evidence from mitochondrial and nuclear DNA (Moyle 2006).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 09Apr2016
Global Status Last Changed: 02Dec1996
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Nation: United States
National Status: N5B,N5N (05Jan1997)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N5B,N4N5N,N5M (22Jan2018)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (S5), Alaska (S5), Arizona (S2B,S5N), Arkansas (S4), California (SNR), Colorado (S5B), Connecticut (S5B), Delaware (S4), District of Columbia (S2N,S2S3B), Florida (SNRB,SNRN), Georgia (S5), Idaho (S4), Illinois (S5), Indiana (S4), Iowa (S4B), Kansas (S3B), Kentucky (S4S5B,S4N), Louisiana (S4), Maine (S3N,S5B), Maryland (S5B,S4N), Massachusetts (S5B,S5N), Michigan (S5), Minnesota (SNRB,SNRN), Mississippi (S5), Missouri (SNRB,SNRN), Montana (S5B), Navajo Nation (S1B,S3S4N), Nebraska (S4), Nevada (S4), New Hampshire (S5), New Jersey (S4B,S4N), New Mexico (S4B,S4N), New York (S5), North Carolina (S5B,S5N), North Dakota (SNRB), Ohio (S5), Oklahoma (S3S5), Oregon (S5), Pennsylvania (S5), Rhode Island (S4B), South Carolina (SNR), South Dakota (S5B), Tennessee (S5), Texas (S5B), Utah (S3S4B,S3N), Vermont (S4B), Virginia (S5), Washington (S5), West Virginia (S4B,S4N), Wisconsin (S5), Wyoming (S5B,S5N)
Canada Alberta (S4B), British Columbia (S4S5B), Labrador (S3B,SUM), Manitoba (S4S5B), New Brunswick (S5B,S5M), Newfoundland Island (S4B,S3N,SUM), Northwest Territories (S4S5B), Nova Scotia (S5B), Ontario (S4B), Prince Edward Island (S5B), Quebec (S4?), Saskatchewan (S5B,S5M), Yukon Territory (S4B)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: >2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: BREEDING: western and central Alaska to northern Saskatchewan, central Manitoba, central Ontario, east Ungava Bay in Quebec, Labrador, and Newfoundland, south to southern California, southern Texas, Gulf Coast, and southern Florida. NON-BREEDING: south-coastal and southeastern Alaska, British Columbia, Colorado, southern Great Lakes region, and New England south to the West Indies, Panama, and northern South America (very rare in northern Colombia, scarce in the coastal lowlands of Venezuela and Guyana). Winters sporadically almost throughout the breeding range. Casual in Hawaii. To 2500 m in the Rocky Mountains.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) BREEDING: western and central Alaska to northern Saskatchewan, central Manitoba, central Ontario, east Ungava Bay in Quebec, Labrador, and Newfoundland, south to southern California, southern Texas, Gulf Coast, and southern Florida. NON-BREEDING: south-coastal and southeastern Alaska, British Columbia, Colorado, southern Great Lakes region, and New England south to the West Indies, Panama, and northern South America (very rare in northern Colombia, scarce in the coastal lowlands of Venezuela and Guyana). Winters sporadically almost throughout the breeding range. Casual in Hawaii. To 2500 m in the Rocky Mountains.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The maps for birds represent the breeding status by state and province. In some jurisdictions, the subnational statuses for common species have not been assessed and the status is shown as not-assessed (SNR). In some jurisdictions, the subnational status refers to the status as a non-breeder; these errors will be corrected in future versions of these maps. A species is not shown in a jurisdiction if it is not known to breed in the jurisdiction or if it occurs only accidentally or casually in the jurisdiction. Thus, the species may occur in a jurisdiction as a seasonal non-breeding resident or as a migratory transient but this will not be indicated on these maps. See other maps on this web site that depict the Western Hemisphere ranges of these species at all seasons of the year.
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NN, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY
Canada AB, BC, LB, MB, NB, NF, NS, NT, ON, PE, QC, SK, YT

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/data-maps-tools.

Range Map Compilers: NatureServe, 2002; WILDSPACETM 2002


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AZ Apache (04001), Coconino (04005), Gila (04007), Graham (04009), Maricopa (04013), Yavapai (04025)
ID Ada (16001), Blaine (16013), Bonner (16017), Boundary (16021), Cassia (16031), Custer (16037), Franklin (16041), Jefferson (16051), Kootenai (16055), Lemhi (16059), Nez Perce (16069), Owyhee (16073), Shoshone (16079)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
15 Little Colorado headwaters (15020001)+, Middle Little Colorado (15020008)+, Black (15060101)+, Upper Salt (15060103)+, Upper Verde (15060202)+, Agua Fria (15070102)+
16 Middle Bear (16010202)+
17 Lower Kootenai (17010104)+, Pend Oreille Lake (17010214)+, Upper Coeur D'alene (17010301)+, Coeur D'alene Lake (17010303)+, Upper Spokane (17010305)+, Lake Walcott (17040209)+, Goose (17040211)+, Upper Snake-Rock (17040212)+, Beaver-Camas (17040214)+, Big Lost (17040218)+, Little Wood (17040221)+, Upper Owyhee (17050104)+, Lower Boise (17050114)+, Lemhi (17060204)+, Clearwater (17060306)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A kingfisher.
Reproduction Comments: Egg laying months: April-July in Ontario, May-June in New York, April-June in Louisiana (Fry and Fry 1992). Clutch size 5-8 (usually 6-7). Incubation 23-24 days, by both sexes. Broods average 4. Young leave nest at 30-35 days. One brood/year, though replacement clutches may be laid. Pairs nest solitarily. On Lake Hasca, Minnesota, 14 nesting pairs occupied an area of 65 sq km (see Fry and Fry 1992).
Ecology Comments: Generally occurs singly or in pairs. In New Brunswick, densities reach 10 individuals per 1600 m of farmland stream (see Fry and Fry 1992). Foraging is usually within 1.6 km of nest, up to 8 km (Cornwell 1963). Lakeside territories average 0.8 km of shoreline, up to 2.4 km; river territories average 2.4 to 4.8 km of river length (Salyer and Lagler 1946).
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: Y
Long Distance Migrant: Y
Mobility and Migration Comments: Northern noncoastal breeding populations are migratory. Migrants occur in Central America and the West Indies mainly from September to early April, mid-October to late April in Trinidad (Fry and Fry 1992). In fall and spring, migrants move along the shores of certain Great Lakes localities at a rate of about 12-15 individuals/hour (Fry and Fry 1992).
Marine Habitat(s): Near shore
Estuarine Habitat(s): Bay/sound, Herbaceous wetland, Lagoon, River mouth/tidal river, Scrub-shrub wetland, Tidal flat/shore
Riverine Habitat(s): BIG RIVER, CREEK, Low gradient, MEDIUM RIVER, Moderate gradient
Lacustrine Habitat(s): Shallow water
Palustrine Habitat(s): FORESTED WETLAND, HERBACEOUS WETLAND, Riparian
Special Habitat Factors: Burrowing in or using soil
Habitat Comments: Primarily along water, both freshwater and marine, including lakes, streams, wooded creeks and rivers, seacoasts, bays, estuaries, and mangroves. Perches in trees, on over hanging branches, posts and utility wires. At night, roosts high in a leafy tree near water (Fry and Fry 1992). In some areas availability of foraging sites may be more limiting than the availability of nest sites. BREEDING: Typically nests in a burrow dug by both sexes in the bank of a creek, river, lake, pond, gravel or sand pit, or embankment of a road or railroad; usually but not always near water. Rarely may nest in sawdust heap or tree hole.
Adult Food Habits: Piscivore
Immature Food Habits: Piscivore
Food Comments: Eats mainly fishes (averaging about 9 cm long), and sometimes various other vertebrates and invertebrates, obtained by diving into water from hovering flight or stout perch. May also consume berries in winter. Needs clear still waters for fishing. Regularly forages up to 8 km from the nest (Fry and Fry 1992). Rarely fishes up to a kilometer offshore.
Adult Phenology: Diurnal
Immature Phenology: Diurnal
Length: 33 centimeters
Weight: 148 grams
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Kingfishers

Use Class: Breeding
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of historical breeding, or current and likely recurring breeding, at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of one or more breeding pairs in appropriate habitat. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single breeding events outside the normal breeding distribution.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Justification: Separation distance based on the territories and foraging ranges of the Belted Kingfisher. Foraging in that species is usually within 1.6 km of nest, up to 8 km (Cornwell 1963). Lakeside territories average 0.8 km of shoreline, up to 2.4 km; river territories average 2.4 to 4.8 km of river length (Salyer and Lagler 1946).
Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): .8 km
Inferred Minimum Extent Justification: Based on an average lakeside territory of Belted Kingfisher (Salyer and Lagler 1946).
Date: 13Nov2001
Author: Cannings, S.
Population/Occurrence Viability
Help
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
Help
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 24Mar1993
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): HAMMERSON, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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Citation for Bird Range Maps of North America:
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