Green Kingfisher (Chloroceryle americana)
The smallest of the three different Kingfisher species found in the United States, the Green Kingfisher (Chloroceryle americana), is about 19 cm long and features the large beak and short tail which is typical of the species. It is widely spread from southern Texas through Central and South America to central Argentina. It is often easily spotted whilst perched on a branch of some sort and tends to favor habitats fed by a stream, lake or river as well as coastal areas.
Despite the fact that the Green Kingfisher is said to lack the typical blue-grey coloration that is common with the Kingfisher species, it is quite a pretty little bird. It’s long, stout, dark bill tapers from a green head and crest. The Green head is divided from its green back and other upperparts by a bold white collar and a small white throat area. Often the green on the upperparts is broken by white spotting which helps to differentiate the Green Kingfisher from other kingfisher species. The male Green Kingfisher has a broad, rusty coloured band covering its breast which often features some green spotting on the flanks. The female tends to feature buff-white colouring on her underparts which is broken by two green chest bands. The fact that her breast features two bands and not one further helps to differentiate her from other kingfisher species. The green of the Green Kingfisher may vary from an oily dark-green to a rich hunter-green.
Generally speaking, the Green Kingfisher prefers to make its home near forest streams or in mangroves. Its nest takes the form of a horizontal tunnel that may measure up to a metre in length and is made in a river bank. Here the female may lay between three and four small eggs. They generally prefer to dive for fish as a main food source but they will feed on small lizards and grasshoppers if they are a considerable distance from water. Sometimes, if fish are scarce at their chosen body of water, the Green Kingfisher may choose to feed on small aquatic insects instead.