Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Fantastic Kingfisher--Vickie Henderson

The Belted Kingfisher is a plunge diver, so skilled at what he (in this case) does, that he can spot a fish underwater from a high perch, dive from the perch, plunge into the water and come up with a fish, all in a matter of seconds.
To witness this, is to truly grasp the amazing skill and precision of this bird's fishing agility. Add to that, kingfishers teach their off-spring to fish by dropping dead fish in the water so they can practice retrieving it! By the time I finished learning this and other fun facts about this bird, I was in total awe of them.
Maybe that's why sketching this one gave me fits. It was like having a bad-hair-day and not being able to leave it alone. For me the Kingfisher's personality is expressed in that funky, unruly crest. So I fussed over it. In fact, I fussed over the whole page until I nearly wore the paper out.

That happens sometimes. Sketching will undoubtedly uncover my mood and reveal my patience, or lack thereof. And that is one of the many benefits of a sketchbook. Besides a record of what I've enjoyed in nature and the evolution of my art, its a place to sort through all that fussiness. And the next day--I looked at this page and wondered what all the fuss was about!

For more fun images and facts about these unique and fascinating birds, visit my blog post "The KINGfisher that Keeps on Impressing".


  1. What a chappie, Vickie! Gorgeous sketch! I often watch the Malachite Kingfisher when we go to Wicker Tea Garden on the banks of the Magalies river - he keeps us entertained for hours.

  2. We don't see these often, Vickie, thank you for the information on him! GORGEOUS.

  3. LOVE your sketch!!!! Really fascinating info about kingfishers, too. Thank you! We see them around a bit and I like the rattling sound they make as they fly across a pond.

  4. Hi,Maree. Thanks. I am definitely a different kind of fan after watching this kingfisher.

    Thank you, Kate. This moment was a rare treat for me, as well. We have them here in TN during the warm season, but they are easier to find wintering in the wetlands of Florida.

    Hi Melissa. Thank you! I didn't get to hear that rattling call on this visit.

  5. Great job, Vickie!! Love the bad hair day. They are surely a favorite :)


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