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Birds of the St. Croix River Valley: Minnesota and Wisconsin



Belted Kingfisher

Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon)

Status: Regular migrant, nesting species, and winter resident.

Migration: Common migrant throughout the Valley. Apparent increases in populations begin about 1 April and peak abundance occurs 10-25 April. Peak fall migration occurs 10 September to 1 October and most depart by 10 November.

Nesting Season Distribution: The belted kingfisher is a fairly common nesting species throughout the Valley. Probably most abundant in the Central Plain and Northern Highland where there is an abundance of lakes, rivers, and streams.

Winter: An uncommon early winter resident north to Burnett and Pine counties; rare after mid-January. Belted kingfishers are uncommon throughout the winter in Washington, St. Croix, and Pierce counties, where fast-moving streams provide ample open water for fishing.

Habitat: Usually found near permanent lakes and streams that support fish populations. Nests are usually in steep banks adjacent to streams. One nest observed in western St. Croix County was in the bank of a sandstone out-cropping about 2 km from the nearest water.

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