Female Belted Kingfisher, BraeBurn No. 2, January 23, 2017
One of the most distinctive birds at BraeBurn is the Belted Kingfisher and you can see them – and hear them – most commonly around the lake that winds between holes 2, 6, 7, 8, 5, and 4 as well as sitting on our bridges overlooking the lake.  I have also seen one on number 18 in the trees overlooking the pond by the green. 
 
At BraeBurn, Belted Kingfishers like to sit on our bridge rails or on tree branches until they spot a small fish and then dive down to capture it.  They have a distinctive chattering and loud t-t-t-t-t-t-t-t-t call that you can hear from two holes away.  They often travel in twos, chattering as they fly, as if engaged in some kind of an aerial verbal battle.  Belted Kingfishers are slightly larger than our common Blue Jays and with their shaggy crests, oversized heads, and big beaks, these birds have a bold look that, combined with their chattering, gives the impression that they think that they are in charge. 
 
Although range maps indicate that Belted Kingfishers are year-round residents in Houston, I have only seen them at BraeBurn in the fall, winter, and spring.  Given that, we should be seeing – and hearing – them soon.