Scientific Name: Megaceryle alcyon
Population Estimate: 2M, Least Concern status
Range: Year-round on rivers and shorelines throughout most of the US. Winters down through Mexico and Central America. Summers up into Canada and Alaska.
Field Notes: Medium-sized bird with oversized head and bill. Shaggy blue crest and back. Both males and females have a blue "belt" around their neck, but females also have a rufous belly. Ringed Kingfisher, found throughout Mexico, Central and South America, is larger and more conspicuous with rufous extending to entire belly.
Personal Notes: The bottom photo was one of our favourite spring finds at The Outdoor Campus in Sioux Falls, SD in late April, 2014.