Ringed Kingfisher

Megaceryle torquata

The Ringed Kingfisher is a large, conspicuous and noisy kingfisher, commonly found along the lower Rio Grande River valley in southeasternmost Texas in the United States through Central America to Tierra del Fuego in South America.
Ringed Kingfisher landing  Mato Grosso,Megaceryle torquata,Pantanal,Ringed Kingfisher,Transpantaneira highway

Appearance

It is 40–41 cm long, with deep blue or bluish-gray plumage with white markings, a shaggy crest and a broad white collar around the neck. Its most distinguishing characteristic is the entire rufous belly, which also covers the entire breast of the male. Females are more colorful than the male and have a bluish-gray breast and a narrow white stripe separating the breast from the belly.
Ringed Kingfisher, Sani Lodge, Ecuador After a fresh splash. Ecuador,Ecuador 2021,Geotagged,Megaceryle torquata,Ringed Kingfisher,Sani Lodge,South America,Spring,World,Yasuni National Park

Naming

The "Megaceryle" kingfishers were formerly placed in "Ceryle" with the Pied Kingfisher, but the latter is genetically closer to the American green kingfishers.
Male Ringed Kingfisher (Megaceryle torquata) Taken in September 2016, in Caucaia, Brazil. Known as Martim-pescador-grande, in Portuguese. Brazil,Geotagged,Megaceryle torquata,Ringed Kingfisher,South America,Spring,birds,kingfisher,male

Behavior

It is often seen perched prominently on trees, posts, or other suitable "watchpoints" close to water before plunging in head first after its fish prey. They also eat small mammals, insects, small reptiles and berries.

Their voice is a loud, penetrating rattle given on the wing and when perched.
Ringed Kingfisher drying wings, Sani Lodge, Ecuador  Ecuador,Ecuador 2021,Geotagged,Megaceryle torquata,Ringed Kingfisher,Sani Lodge,South America,Spring,World,Yasuni National Park

Habitat

The breeding habitat is areas near large bodies of water, usually in heavily wooded areas where it finds a perch to hunt from. It is mostly a sedentary species, remaining in territories all year long.

These birds nest in a horizontal tunnel made in a river bank or sand bank. The female lays 3 to 6 eggs. Both parents excavate the tunnel, incubate the eggs and feed the young.

References:

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Status: Least concern
EX EW CR EN VU NT LC
Taxonomy
KingdomAnimalia
DivisionChordata
ClassAves
OrderCoraciiformes
FamilyCerylidae
GenusMegaceryle
SpeciesM. torquata