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Kingfisher Nesting Near Whittier, California

J. H. Comby
Publication Information
1 (January-February)
From Field and Study

Kingfisher Nesting Near Whittier, California.-A pair of Belted Kingfishers (Megaceryle alcyon) nested in the Whittier area during May, 1944, and, it is believed, raised at least two young. On May 13, a kingfisher was seeri entering a tunnel in a bank along a stream. Several times each day, on May 15, 17, and 19, it was observed carrying fish into the hole. This species is exceptionally shy about the nest, as my first observation disclosed. A male with a good sized fish in his bill perched on a limb above the water at some distance from the tunnel and rattled continuously; not until I moved farther away to an inconspicuous position did he enter with the fish. On May 24 a female and a young bird were observed near the nest, and another individual, presumably a second juvenile, was seen in the mouth of the hole. On May 30 three birds were noted, but after this date no kingfishers were seen about the site. It was not possible to see the nest as a bend occurred in the tunnel about three feet from the entrance. The three birds probably were of the same family as such a pugnacious and solitary species as this would not tolerate the presence of others of its kind. Willett (Pac. Coast Avif. No. 21, 1933:99) reports that this species nested in the Whittier area in 1895. Possibly the locality of that record is approximately the same as that reported above. There are several other records for southern California, but the species is sufficiently uncommon, we believe, to deserve this additional notice.-J. H. COMBY, Whittier, California, December 1, 1944.  

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