It’s a kingfisher, I swear! And I’m counting it as backyard bird #57.
I have been trying to get a photo of a Belted Kingfisher out by the pond for a few years now. I either don’t have my camera with me when they are perched and holding still or I do have my camera with me and they zoom past like little aerial missiles (see above).
With its top-heavy physique, energetic flight, and piercing rattle, the Belted Kingfisher seems to have an air of self-importance as it patrols up and down rivers and shorelines.
They are noisy and I often hear them before (or without) seeing them.
Male and female Belted Kingfishers give strident, mechanical rattles in response to the slightest disturbance. When threatened they may give screams, which males sometimes combine with harsh calls.