In some species of birds, the male and female are nearly indistinguishable. Only through behavioral difference can you tell them apart. But in many species, the male and the female look different – a little or a lot. When that occurs, much of the time, it’s the male that dons the bright colors or exaggerated plumage. The females are often drab and sometimes small compared to their mates.
However, in the Belted Kingfisher, it’s the female that gets the little splash of added embellishment. Both genders are striking to look at, regardless of their color. The sport a crest of head feathers that is most humorous and a beak to head, and head to body ratio that seems oddly unbalanced.
I captured this female Belted Kingfisher perched atop our duck box by the pond. While looking for her next meal, she also did a bit of stretching which exposed her lovely, copper belt. Only the females don that rich tone.
Another characteristic I find curious about this Kingfisher’s markings is the spot of white in the corner of the eye. I often confuse it with a glint in the eye. Their eyes are the same deep blue-black ink color as the feathers on their head. That can make it difficult to even distinguish their eyes in less that perfect lighting. While I am happy to have captured these photos, that one, great image of a Belted Kingfisher eludes me. Perhaps this will be my year.