The Belted Kingfisher has a large head with a shaggy crest and a long, heavy black bill with a grey base. It has a wild rattling call when flying over ponds or the bay. It watches for fish while perched on a wire or branch then feeds by diving headfirst into the water. It winters on Galveston Island then heads north for breeding season.
Kristine Rivers puts it this way:
“This is one of the few species in which the female is more colorful than the male, with a rusty band extending across the belly and under the wings. Look for them perched on power lines near the John M. O’Quinn I-45 Estuarial Corridor.”
The male is more brightly colored than the female. Both sexes have a slate blue head, large white collar, a large blue band on the breast, and white underparts. The back and wings are slate blue with black feather tips with little white dots. The female features a rufous band across the upper belly that extends down the flanks.