This is a female Belted Kingfisher. I really enjoy getting to see these noisy, chittering birds—mainly because they are very exotic looking, and it exceedingly difficult to get close to one.
Kingfishers like to live in remote areas close to water. I usually find them around the Trinity River and its tributaries. Belted Kingfishers are also very skittish and usually fly away as soon as they detect your presence. The angry scolding of their call is often the only evidence I have that a kingfisher had been in the vicinity.
This attractive female was different. For a few weeks in December this pioneering bird took up residence at our neighborhood Beaver pond. She was very tolerant of observation, and allowed us to watch for up to an hour at a time as she fished the cold waters of Dudley Branch.