I’m Nothing if Not Persistent!

A belted kingfisher sits a perch over the Meramec River at sunrise.

I often hear from photographer friends that the belted kingfisher is their “nemesis species,” meaning that they have yet to photograph one. The key to kingfishers is persistence! First, you have to locate a bird, of course, but then you have to watch it for a day or two to identify its favorite perch. Once I locate a perch, I find a place nearby where I can fully conceal myself and set up before daylight the next morning. After that it is a waiting game that could result in immediate success or, more likely, delayed gratification.

It took nine mornings before the kingfisher in the featured image finally lighted on the perch I had selected! I didn’t mind at all because I got to watch the morning unfold along the banks of the Meramec nine times! Who could ask for a better way to start each day? Even if I’d never seen any wildlife, I was content to watch the endless patterns of steam rising off the river each morning.

Kingfishers are one of the least forgiving birds when it comes to movement. I recommend that you quickly get your hands on your tripod-mounted camera at the first sound of the kingfisher’s rattle. Even the most careful movement, such as lifting your hand to your camera, will spook a kingfisher and end the morning. I say “end the morning” because once a kingfisher sees a suspicious movement, it will never return to the same perch until at least the next day!

I wish you luck on finding and photographing your own belted kingfisher in Missouri. They are truly one of our premier birds!

Thanks for looking,


Note:  Thanks to everybody who came out for my presentation, “Birds and the Nerds Who Adore Them.” It was a full house and a great time! Several attendees said it was their favorite presentation yet. I’m already brainstorming about my next presentation at Bryan Haynes’ beautiful gallery, perhaps in spring.

Email:  Natureframes@Rocketmail.Com

Gallery:  https://dannybrown.smugmug.com

America is beautiful. I will be voting on November 6 to keep it that way!



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