Megaceryle Genus

Megaceryle is a genus of very large kingfishers. It comprises the Belted Kingfisher, Megaceryle alcyon and Ringed Kingfisher, Megaceryle torquata.

The have prominent stiff crests on their heads and specilaize in eating fish. They have dark grey or bluish-grey upperparts, the underparts may be white or rufous, and all forms have a contrasting breast band except male Ringed Kingfisher. The underpart pattern is always different for the two sexes of each species.

These birds nest in horizontal tunnels made in a river bank or sand bank. Both parents excavate the tunnel, incubate the eggs and feed the young.

Megaceryle kingfishers are often seen perched prominently on trees, posts, or other suitable watch-points close to water before plunging in head first after their prey, usually fish crustaceans or frogs, but sometimes aquatic insects and other suitably sized animals.