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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

Green Kingfisher -- Chloroceryle americana

RANGE: Resident in south-central and southern Texas, occurring up the Rio Grande at least as far as Del Rio, north onto Edwards Plateau, and south through Mexico to South America.

STATUS: Fairly common.

HABITAT: Prefers small, shaded, clear streams and quiet backwaters, but also found around larger bodies of water with dense, low vegetation along the banks.

SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: High banks along clear streams with an abundant supply of small fishes.

NEST: Digs burrow 2 to 3 feet deep near the top of a high bank over water with a small entrance, about 2 to 3 inches in diameter, usually well concealed by trailing plants and vines or dead vegetation draping the top of the bank.

FOOD: Sights small fishes from a low perch of overhanging branches, roots, or rocks, often just inches above water; plunges into the water from the perch to catch the fishes, rarely hovering.

REFERENCES: Bent 1940a, Kaufman in Farrand 1983b, Oberholser 1974a, Terres 1980.

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