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28â€“33 cm (11-13 in)
Has rufous breast band
Lacks rufous breast band.
A partial migrant with most birds from the interior moving south in August-early November, returning in March-May, but some birds stay north in coastal areas. Winter range extends south to Mexico and Central America, the West Indies and northern South America. A common winter visitor and migrant to the Atlantic coast. Regularly recorded on Bermuda and in the Hawaiian Islands (vagrants).
Vagrants recorded in the Western Palearctic recorded in Iceland, Britain, Ireland, and the Azores, with one record for the Netherlands. There have been five Icelandic records including at least two birds in May-September 1998, a moribund female in February 2002 and a male in October 2003. British Isles records (c.10), are mostly in Ireland in October-November but there are records for all months due to long-staying individuals, one for more than a year.
Rivers and streams, lakes, ponds and along sea-coasts. Occurs up to 2,500m in the Rocky Mountains.
Hovering on rapidly beating wings in readiness for the plunge, or flying with uneven wingbeats (as if changing gear), rattling as it goes, the kingfisher is easily recognized.
Perches conspicuously and fishes from a perch or hovers over the water.
Nests in burrow in dirt banks.
A harsh, woody rattle
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