The Belted Kingfisher

Belted Kingfisher with a fish on its beak at Alderbrook Resort

As if my first time kayaking on the Sound was not incredible enough, the Belted Kingfisher had to make certain of it. It was a stereotypical PNW summer day at the outlet of the Skokomish River on the Hood Canal when I learned how this bird earns its name. With the Olympic Mountains overhead and countless other wildlife, the kingfisher stole the show.

After hovering ten feet over the water to home in on its prey, the kingfisher dove head first into the water. A couple more tries and the bird came up with a fish in its bill. He (I could tell it was a male by the absence of a copper colored belt on its breast) made something that required so much energy and so much skill look all too easy. Even with all the over-engineered fishing equipment us humans have manufactured, we don’t come close to being as good of anglers as the kingfishers.

And this is why I love Nature: Its ability to put us in our place with its awe-inspiring show in every direction we look. No matter how hard we search and far we explore, we will never run out of new adventures awaiting us here at Alderbrook. How lucky are we to get to feel a part of such a spectacular place? Pretty lucky, I’d say.

This concludes my first short series on birds. I hope you are as excited as I am to see what comes next. Photo courtesy of The Cornell Lab –