The Water Kingfishers (Cerylidae) – also known as Cerylid Kingfishers.
They have been named for their “fish-eating” habits. They will perch quietly on a low branch close to water before plunging in head first after small fish or tadpoles. They will also hawk for insects.
They are quite tame, but easily overlooked as they sit silently amongst riverside branches.
Water Kingfishers are grouped in three genera and 9 species:
- The four large crested kingfishers, Megaceryle, have a wide distribution in Africa, Asia and America. The Belted Kingfisher, Megaceryle alcyon – the nominate race – this is the only kingfisher that is widespread in North America. However, subspecies torquata may be found as far north as Texas and Arizona.
- The Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis) is widespread in the tropical regions of the Old World (Europa, Asia, and Africa).
- The four American green kingfishers (Chloroceryle) – occurs in tropical America.