Backyard River Birds

As I was doing dishes this morning, I looked out the window at the river and saw a little Merganser diving for fish. On a whim, I grabbed my camera and snuck down to the edge of the river to try to grab a shot of him Unfortunately, I moved too quickly, and he spooked and flew upriver.

However, a Belted Kingfisher was perched on the power lines that cross the river, and while I was trying to take a picture of some Mergansers coming down the river, I heard the Kingfisher hit the water after a fish. While I didn't catch the entry, I did catch him as she flew toward me to perch on a stick and eat his meal.

And eat it he did. My best guess is that this is a male juvenile Kingfisher. Males have a single blue chest band, and females have the blue chest band with an additional chestnut band further down the belly. Since juveniles can have a mix of chestnut and blue in their upper band, I think the single band on this bird makes him male.

It was quite a piece of luck to come out to shoot a Merganser and end up with a Kingfisher flying toward me with a fish in his mouth. This might be a good time to mention that clicking pictures will blow them up to the full size of your browser window.

And, with a little bit of patience after the Kingfisher flew off, I even got a nice shot of some Hooded Mergansers coming down the river.

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