Have you ever heard the term “nemesis bird”?
Usually this moniker is applied to a specific species of which a birder has been searching for but is unable to find.
While I certainly have species that I’ve been seeking with no luck, (hello Short eared Owl grrrr!) I also have used the term nemesis to describe the lovely bird featured here, the Belted Kingfisher.
Now, technically I’m using the term incorrectly as I’ve seen hundreds of Kingfishers over the years. Rather, I think of these sneaky creatures as my photo nemesis because every time I spot one they take off flying in a hurry in the opposite direction leaving me with zero opportunities to get a clean photograph.
It’s super frustrating and I swear they laugh at me with that familiar rattling call as they zip away lol!
Luckily I caught a break and finally captured a few portraits of this handsome male last month while birding at the Alligator River NWR in eastern NC. @isaacmcshanephoto and I just happened to be driving slowly on Sawyer Lake Rd watching for ducks on the impoundment fields when we spotted this Kingfisher perched on a sapling right next to the gravel road.
Apparently the Kingfishers at ARNWR are used to cars driving by at close range so this guy stayed put on his branch allowing us to pull up right across from him.
No, it’s not the most interesting bird encounter I’ve ever had but gosh I was pleased to finally get a frame filling shot or two of this species.
From the lower elevations of mountains in the west to our far eastern counties, Belted Kingfishers are a familiar sight across the entire state of NC.
They are easily found in areas where fresh or brackish water are present such as along streams, ponds, lakes, swamps, rivers and marshes.
If you’re lucky you may be able to see one at a close range while they’re hunting for fish. Don’t count on it though lol 😉
Photos by @sally_siko of 1916 WASHINGTON D.C. MUNICIPAL GAMES ”LEO M. FLAHERTY” SHOT PUT MEDAL-1 3/8” on my beloved 50MP beast, the @canonusa#5Ds