|Conservation status||Has gradually increased and spread in Texas since the 1960s. Widespread and common in the American tropics.|
|Habitat||Rivers, large streams, ponds; nests in banks. In Texas, most common along Rio Grande in areas where tall trees and brush border the river; also, increasingly, on ponds, streams elsewhere in southern part of state. In the tropics, found around almost any body of fresh water in lowlands, also in mangrove swamps on coast.|
Seeks its food mostly by perching high (usually 15-35' up, higher than other kingfishers) and watching the water. When it spots a fish (or other prey) close to the surface, it plunges headfirst, catching the fish in its bill. Seldom hovers over the water before diving.
4-5, sometimes 3-6. White. Incubation is by both parents, incubation period not well known. Young: Evidently fed by both parents. Young leave the nest about 5 weeks after hatching, are probably cared for by the adults for some time thereafter.
Evidently fed by both parents. Young leave the nest about 5 weeks after hatching, are probably cared for by the adults for some time thereafter.
Mostly fish. Feeds mainly on fish, especially those 2-6" long. Also eats some frogs, small snakes, probably other aquatic creatures.
In the tropics, sometimes nests in loose colonies where a large dirt bank is especially favorable for nesting. Such sites are not always near water; sometimes in road cuts or other artificial banks more than a mile from water. Apparently nests only as isolated pairs in United States. Nest site is in burrow excavated in steep or vertical dirt bank. Both sexes help to dig burrow, which may be 5-8' long, with an enlarged nest chamber at the end. Little or no nest material added, but debris may accumulate in chamber.
Illustration © David Allen Sibley.
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Text © Kenn Kaufman, adapted from
Lives of North American Birds
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Apparently a permanent resident throughout its range, but individuals may wander widely.
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Songs and CallsHarsh rattle, louder than that of Belted Kingfisher. Also a loud kleck.
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How Climate Change Will Reshape the Range of the Ringed Kingfisher
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Climate threats facing the Ringed Kingfisher
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