This image is Plate 77 of John J. Audubon’s Birds of America.

Used by permission, the image is from

The Belted Kingfisher (Ceryle alcyon) is widespread through North America. It is the only

Kingfisher species in Montana, and it is present year round in western Montana. As a migratory species, the kingfisher is more abundant here during the summer. Both male and female have a dark belt below a white collar, and the female has also a red belt across the breast. The Kingfisher eats small fish caught by diving into inland streams. John James Audubon found that “the flesh is extremely fishy, oily, and disagreeable to the taste. On the contrary, the eggs are fine eating.” Both bird and eggs have been protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act for a century now, but the population is still in decline.

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