Alcyon Days – Pun Intended

© Babsje (

Female North American Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon) Territorial Squabble

© Babsje (

North American Belted Kingfisher Territorial Squabble Nbr2


This week’s photo challenge is minimalist. In this one moment in time, these two Female North American Belted Kingfishers were so deeply focused in renegotiating their territories that they failed to notice my kayak round the bend. Kingfishers in that cove historically have established a healthy separation between their respective turfs. It is possible the drought this year stressed the Kingfishers to the point of this squabble. Since these photos were taken, we have had significant rains, the water level has come back up three feet, and the female Kingfishers are back in their usual areas, chattering away at me with their slipping-fan-belt voices, scaring off the Herons. Thanks to Jen H and WordPress for this topic.

Thanks once again to Stewart Monckton for hosting the Wild Bird Wednesday challenge.

Thanks to the kind folks at Wordless Wednesday for the Wordless Wednesday challenge.

A selection of my heron and flower photos is now available at the Five Crows Gallery in Natick, MA. Drop in and see the work of the many wonderfully creative artists who show there when you’re in the area.

Five Crows is on FaceBook. To give the gallery a visit, please click here.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2014 Babsje. (

North American Belted Kingfisher, Kayaking

Posted on November 12, 2014, in Art, Audubon, Birds, Kingfisher, Nature, photo101, Photography, Photography challenge, postaday, Weekly Photo Challenge, Wild Bird Wednesday, Wildlife Photography, Wordless Wednesday and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 27 Comments.

  1. Great shots of a very unusual scene. I’m leaning toward #2 as my favorite. Congrats!

    • Thanks, Nick – so glad you like these Kingfishers. I’m with you about image number 2. This was the first time I can recall seeing territorial behavior between a pair of female birds. It seems as though I usually see a male defending his turf, either against another male or a female, so this was a first for me,

  2. Excellent photos of the kingfishers! I have a difficult time getting close to them.

    • Many thanks for your kind comment, glad you like them. To be honest, I have never had much luck getting adequate Kingfisher photos, myself, before this day. They always fly off at first sight. This time, though, they were more interested in squabbling with each other than in their usual jobs – which seem to be acting as resident sentries at the lake. Kingfishers and Blue Jays both create a ruckus when humans approach, and alert the Great Blue Herons. They have often made it impossible for me to slip into my usual natural cover hides undetected.

  3. Great shots, Babsje. I love Kingfishers but they are difficult to capture. These two were quite busy!

    • Hi Jane – so glad you like these kingfishers, thanks! I think they are exceedingly difficult to photograph, they are so skittish and nimble, darting off at first approach usually. These two went at it for quite a while, from one side of the cove to the other, and back. A delight to watch.

  4. Lucky you to encounter and capture this kerfuffle. 🙂

  5. Great shots! And looking at the comments, glad to see I’m not the only one to find these birds hard to get photos of… Maybe a kayak is the perfect answer! RH

    • Many thanks, I’m glad you like these two. I’ve been photographing them from a kayak the last 9 years, with little success til that day. They are very camera-shy I think!

  6. You certainly crept up on those two and got these great shots. I love the open wings of the bird in the second shot. very usual to capture this.

    • Hi Margaret – thanks for your kind words! I like that open-winged stance, too. I was in the right place at the right time for these photos, could not have planned them for sure.

  7. Absolutely wonderful photos!!

  8. Wonderful captures, Babsje. 🙂

  9. What a great display of feathers!

  10. Alcyon days indeed! Nice pictures, nice pun, nice post!

    Cheers – Stewart M – Melbourne

    • Hi Stewart – many thanks for your kind words, I’m glad you like this one. It was quite the lucky encounter with the Belted Kingfishers that day. They are quite different than the ones you would have seen when you lived in the UK, aren’t they.

  11. Kingfishers always sound pissed off! Very flighty as well. Great shot of the girls arguing!

  1. Pingback: Kingfisher sees bird of prey, video | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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