Kingfisher, a bird with a large head and bill, a short tail, and extremely small, weak feet. Most of the 250 species and subspecies are native to the South Pacific islands and the Malay Archipelago. Three species are native to North America. Almost all kingfishers are brightly colored birds. They have a harsh, wild, rattling cry. Kingfishers hover over water and dive vertically for fish, crabs, and tadpoles. They also feed on insects, lizards, and mice.
The belted kingfisher breeds from Alaska and Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. It winters in Panama and the West Indies. It is about 13 inches (33 cm) long. The belted kingfisher is blue-gray above and white below. It has a bushy crest, white collar, and dagger-like bill. Both sexes have a blue-gray band across the breast, and the female has a chestnut band below the blue.
The female lays five to eight white eggs in a long burrow dug into a sandbank.
The ringed kingfisher ranges from southern Texas to southern South America. It is about the same size and color as the belted kingfisher but has a prominent patch of rust on the belly.
The green kingfisher is about eight inches (20 cm) long. It is dark green above and white below. The male has a rust-colored breast band and the female has a green breast band. The green kingfisher ranges from southern Texas to southern South America.
The kookaburra, a bird native to Australia, is a member of the kingfisher family.
Kingfishers belong to the family Alcedinidae. The belted kingfisher is Megaceryle alcyon; the ringed. M. torquata. The green kingfisher is Chloroceryle americana. The scientific name for the belted kingfisher is Ceryle alcyon.