They patrol up and down rivers and lake shores, sweeping from bank to bank in search of fish, crawfish and other watery delicacies. They perch on overhanging branches or hover above the water, looking for movement before diving in to grab their prey. They then strike their catch against the perch to kill it before swallowing it down. With their stocky build and brash, rattling call, they exude an air of authority.
Belted Kingfishers dig their nests deep into the banks of rivers and lakes. They take turns in an elaborate excavation project that can span weeks, producing a tunnel several feet into the ground. A small nesting chamber at the end nurtures five to seven white eggs. They teach their young to forage by dropping dead fish or crustaceans into the water for them to “practice” on.