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Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Kingfisher & I

We've seen kingfishers before, but this was the first time at Prospect Park.  This male was perched picturesquely near the Audubon Center.

Belted Kingfisher at the Boat House

Belted Kingfisher Hunting

Kingfishers perch on low branches overlooking ponds or lakes, using their keen eyesight to spot prey.  When they're ready to strike they hover about 2 feet over the water, rapidly flapping their wings like a hummingbird, and then BAM! Into the water.

 Belted Kingfisher in Profile

Fierce mohawk? Check. Dagger-like beak? Check. Disproportionately large head.  Check! Kingfishers never cease to amaze.  This is a male; the females have a rust colored ring around their breast.  This is one of the few occasions I can think of where the female is more colorful than the male. 

 Carolina Wren

If there was a radio station solely dedicated to bird songs, this guy would have a top 40 hit.  What pipes! We first heard the siren call of the Carolina Wren at the boat house, and once we tracked it down we couldn't believe it was coming from such a tiny bird. 

White-breasted Nuthatch

Every picture in the history of White-breasted Nuthatch pictures must look like this. Nuthatches are a "tree-clinging" type of bird (much like a woodpecker), and they scale the trees looking for small bugs, stopping ever few seconds to strike a pose.

Red-bellied Woodpecker

I always love to spot a red-bellied when we're at Prospect Park....this is the only place I've seen them come to think of it.