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Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

After several years of trying to get a decent image of a Belted Kingfisher I finally got one yesterday while out birding with Gordon and other friends in the Pacific Flyway.   I was birding in the refuge rich area north of Sacramento, CA.  They asked me to show them around the place and I was eager and happy to do it.

I’m sure Gordon will share many of his images too.

Belted Kingfisher

It was an amazing day of birding. We saw so many great birds. Most notable were the Belted Kingfisher, a Bald Eagle, American Bittern, Ring-necked Pheasants, Hawks, Falcon, Ibis, thousands of Snow Geese, some White Fronted Geese, northern pintails, shovelers, Egrets, Blue Herons, Night Herons, Sparrows, Wrens, Goldfinches, Hummingbirds, Warblers, maybe a Thrush of some sort. Need to work on getting an ID on it.

There were quite a few more types of birds seen. We even saw some other wildlife; skunk, deer, and hares, but for me getting this image means no more agonizing over all the butt shots, missed shots, blurry in flight shots, and how very skittish they are! 🙂 I finally got the shot!! 🙂

This one was quite content to sit on this branch looking at the pond below her while keeping an eye on us too. It was a gift!

Can you see me doing my “happy dance”? Yeah, I’m still dancing. 🙂 We had a GREAT day of birding.

Nikon D700| Nikkor 200-500mm| Lexar Professional Digital Film| PS CC 2017

More to come.

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56 Comments

  1. Congrats on the photo, that sounds like a very special day even if you had missed out on the Kingfisher. Glad to know such diversity can still be found. Thanks!

  2. Beautiful!!

  3. A great birding day always calls for a ‘happy dance’! I see yours, Deborah!! 🙂

  4. Great photo, Deborah. I would have bet heavily that we didn’t have any in our part of the world, but I did a quick search and discovered that apparently we do!! if I ever see one, now I’ll know what it is 🙂
    I also learned that the photo you managed to capture is apparently a female – ie the coloured breast. Cool. I learned something new today 🙂

    • Thank you so much Joanne! I hope you do see one someday! They’re really striking.

      • I’m guessing I won’t mistake a Blue Jay for a Belted Kingfisher. The fisher looks much smaller.

  5. Belted kingfisher happy dance :-)! Congratulations on getting a beautiful photo. I see them once in a while here. I love the sounds they make! (I think they kind of sound like squirrels.) The refuge sounds like an amazing place. So nice to know that such places exist.

    • Thank you so much Myriam! How are you?

      The refuge is pretty amazing. It’s always worth the drive up and back.

      • I survived my first semester back at university! So nice to have more time to spend with my family and explore natural spaces! 🙂

        • Congratulations on completing your first semester back at University! Learning to study again can take a bit of time. I know you’ve probably had your nose in books for months! Enjoy the down time! xx

          • Thanks for your kind words, Deborah :-). My two weeks of vacation were quite a treat. Now I’m back to reading! Sorry for suddenly bombarding you with comments. I’m taking a few moments between classes to enjoy your photographs. Marvellous!

            • Thank you so much Myriam! I know spare time will be at a much higher premium now. Best of luck with your term!

  6. The unique and beautiful markings of this female belted kingfisher would send me into ecstatic happy dancing, too! I loved the way there are white feathers by the corner of the bird’s eye. Makes the effect of her look look rather stern.

    • Thank you so much Robin! I’m so glad you appreciate how beautiful she is. I love those little white spots in her blue feathers.

  7. Sounds like a fun day! Such a pretty picture 😀

  8. what a beauty!! ( and your shot!)

  9. Look at those colors! He’s a beauty 🙂

  10. Lovely photo with great eye contact!

    Would you believe I met and photographed what I suspect is the very same kingfisher one week earlier! She was in a tree very close to the parking lot of the main Sacramento NWR, then flew across the path to a tree above a creek. I have seen a fair number of kingfishers, but this one allowed people to approach just a bit closer than the others.

    I am thrilled that she stayed around for you to photograph a week later.

    PS: It was my first visit to Sacramento NWR, and I got my first photos of snow geese, sandhill cranes, tundra swans, and eurasian wigeon. I also got my first views of a Cassin’s kingbird, but the photos are not great.

    • Thank you so much Nancy!

      I do believe it might have been the very same Belted Kingfisher! It was in that first pond by the Visitor’s Center.

      I looked for the Cassin’s Kingbird but never saw it. I didn’t see Tundra Swans either! It sounds like you had an amazing day too!

      Isn’t that refuge and others nearby wonderful! I’m sure this is just the first of many, many visits for you.

  11. I know how difficult these Little birds can be to photograph, congratulations on capturing this lovely little female.

    • Thank you so much Harold! It was so exciting.

    • Thank you so much for pointing out this one is a female!
      For others reading I should note that the Female has one blue band, and the rusty band across the chest while the male only has a blue band around his chest.

  12. I am so impressed by this great shot! We had one living along the shore of the small lake we lived on when I was growing up and oh, how I loved this bird. I’ve mostly only seen these guys as a noisy blur whizzing past! Happy dance, happy dance!

    • Thank you so much Melissa!

      That’s pretty much how I’ve seen them as well until I saw this one.

      Now if only I can find a male Harrier as accommodating as this one I’d be able to strike another hard to photograph bird off my list. 🙂

  13. Thank you so much Belinda!

  14. So pretty! The colors are wonderful!

  15. A beautiful bird!

  16. Super shot, Deborah.

  17. That’s a beautiful photo, Deborah and such a handsome subject. He seems to be posing for you.

    • Thank you so much Dan! He stayed there for quite awhile. I think it was hoping for a nice fish or frog for dinner.
      Later it flew to tree further away with more branch cover.

  18. “no more agonising over butt shots”
    This is reassuring. I took some butt shots and had my camera confiscated and am appealing the guilty verdict.
    Well done, Deborah, the perseverance was well worth it 🙂
    (Can I assure readers my opening like was a joke and apologise if I have caused any offence)

    • ROFL!!!! HILARIOUS opening line Phil!
      I walked right into that one didn’t I. 🙂

      I’m going to be laughing on and off all day thinking about that joke. 🙂

      Thanks Phil!

  19. What a great day and a wonderful shot, Deborah! I’ve only seen a kingfisher that was on the end of a branch high in a tree. Thankfully, I had my telephoto, so I got a decent picture. For some reason, I’d always thought they were bigger. 🙂

    janet

    • Thank you so much Janet!

      They make enough noise to be a bigger bird. 🙂

      Wow, what a treat for you to have seen and photographed one time you saw it!

      • I had no idea what it was, just a bird sitting at the end of a branch. It wasn’t until I got home and zoomed in that I had any idea what I’d gotten. 🙂

        • Oh wow! That’s exciting!
          Do you find yourself looking up at that branch hoping to see it there again? I would be! 🙂

          • I do, but I’ve never seen it again. On the other side of the river, there’s an enormous dead tree that is the hangout for a variety of fishing birds during the summer. It’s just far enough away that I really need one of those enormous telephotos like you see at a football game to get a great shot. I’ve crept up on the path that runs nearby before, but usually either the birds aren’t there or they fly off or the one that’s there is somewhere I can’t get a decent shot. Usually I see them when I only have my phone. 😦

  20. I know how skittish they are; wonderful shot!

  21. It sounds like you had a lot of fun. Congrats on getting a great shot of the kingfisher. That’s not an easy thing to do. They’re pretty skittish.


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