Richard Moore Outdoor Report: Valley of the Kingfishers

Richard Moore Outdoor Report

HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — This little Green Kingfisher has caught himself a fine fish, and has settled on a favorite perch to savor his catch of the day.

However, before he can enjoy his piscine morsel, a much larger ringed kingfisher abruptly appropriates the snag.

The Ringed Kingfisher is the largest of the three species of kingfishers that commonly occur in the United States, at some 16 inches in length with a massive bill in proportion to his size.

For several minutes, the big kingfisher alertly scans the waters for a potential meal to dive for, with his imposing bill gleaming in the early morning light.

While his bill appears unusually long in proportion to his body size, his feet seem impossibly tiny. All the while, his glistening dark eyes intently watch for potential prey.

Occasionally, he adjusts his position poised to pounce, and as kingfishers are apt to do, flicks his tail eagerly anticipating an imminent dive.

Suddenly, he plunges from his vantage, leaving the branch shaking with abrupt departure, and just as the diving board ceases quivering, the kingfisher returns empty beaked.

His next dive is more productive, as he lands with a small fish, but whoops!…the tiny treat slips his grasp, and he stares downward forlornly unable to locate his lost meal.

So, he shakes it off and will try again.

Now, he has caught something more substantial. He clenches the fish tightly; shaking it aggressively and aligning it for an eventual headfirst swallow…all the while never loosening his grip, as he certainly doesn’t want the big one to get away.

Finally, after successfully subduing his quarry, he turns around, throws his head back, and downs the fish.

Now, that the king of kingfishers has seized this prime fishing spot, I doubt the little green will return anytime soon.

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