The Travels of Tug 44

Belted Kingfisher
Hunting Crayfish

As we drove by the swamp, we spotted this particularly lovely female Belted Kingfisher perched on a branch and watching the water below her.   high-res

... when suddenly, faster than I could swing the camera, she dove into the water with a big splat and came up with this fat crayfish.   high-res

Now she's all wet, but she doesn't care. She's got her crayfish and all is well. The very first thing she did was beat the crayfish on the branch to break the claws off. When you swallow them alive and whole, you don't want them still armed after they are swallowed.   high-res

Mrs. Belted Kingfisher spends a few minutes showing off her catch.   high-res

Now she is turning the crayfish so it can go down tail first. The crayfish have a spike on their nose so tail first is important.   high-res

Here, Mrs. Belted Kingfisher is swallowing the crayfish. The crayfish gets its last look at the world as it slides down.   high-res

Perched in the next tree is Mr. Belted Kingfisher, admiring his mate's excellent hunting skills. And a moment later, he dove and caught one too. Crayfish are their favorite food.   high-res

The Belted Kingfisher, a very small Mighty Hunter!

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