The Kingfisher Wasn’t Born to Think About It

--->--->The Kingfisher Wasn’t Born to Think About It

The Kingfisher Wasn’t Born to Think About It

2020-02-20T22:58:19+00:00March 27th, 2013|Blog|10 Comments

“The kingfisher rises out of the black wave
like a blue flower, in his beak
he carries a silver leaf. I think this is
the prettiest world — so long as you don’t mind
a little dying, how could there be a day in your
whole life that doesn’t have its splash of happiness?

There are more fish than there are leaves
on a thousand trees, and anyway the kingfisher
wasn’t born to think about it, or anything else.
When the wave snaps shut over his blue head, the
water remains water — hunger is the only story
he has ever heard in his life that he could believe.”

~ From The Kingfisher by Mary Oliver

Belted Kingfisher photographed mid-hover, on a cloudy day over Puget Sound in Seattle. Processed in Silver Efex Pro.

Belted Kingfisher

Kingfisher Hover – ©ingridtaylar

Belted Kingfisher in Black and White

Belted Kingfisher – ©ingridtaylar


  1. CQ March 28, 2013 at 4:06 am - Reply

    Thank you for catching this handsome Belted Kingfisher in his hovering-before-diving pose, enabling me to NOT think about what he is born to NOT think about, according to poet Mary Oliver!

    I hope Bea Elliott checks out geography: Elliott Bay!

    And I hope you won’t mind, Ingrid, if I steer you to an unusual spelling of your last name under the first photo! 🙂

    • ingrid March 28, 2013 at 10:06 am - Reply

      CQ, I’m contemplating a name change … what do you think? 😉

      (Thanks. Corrected!)

      • CQ March 29, 2013 at 12:08 pm - Reply

        I like “Taylar” — it’s stands out from the many Taylors, and I can pronounce it (unless I’m supposed to be saying it “lar” as it’s spelled? I just say “Tay-lor”!).

        Besides, I have a friend nicknamed Tay Tay, so I don’t vote for Talyar, or whatever it was you hurriedly typed. 🙂

        • ingrid March 29, 2013 at 2:47 pm - Reply

          btw, I only say “LAR” when I’m trying to spell it phonetically for someone. And yeah … what on earth did I type? I can’t even remember now. 🙂

    • Bea Elliott March 29, 2013 at 10:35 am - Reply

      Elliott Bay – How astute! You don’t miss much! 😉

      Amazing photos Ingrid! Love those in-flight, hoovering shots! From what I gather at wiki s/he seems to be female… Yes? And in this case it’s almost odd/rare that she would be more adorned than her male counterpart. In any case – he/she is gorgeous.

      • ingrid March 29, 2013 at 2:50 pm - Reply

        Yes, tough to tell in black-and-white, but the female Belted Kingfisher has a rust-colored band underneath the blue one on her breast, and sort of a rusty-colored vest (what I call it). The male would have just the single blue band and white breast. You’re right that it’s the less common form of sexual dimorphism (different appearance between the sexes). Generally, it’s the male who’s more colorful or ornate.

  2. Larry Jordan March 28, 2013 at 8:34 am - Reply

    Gorgeous captures of this Belted Kingfisher Ingrid! She’s beautiful! Love the quote too 😉

    • ingrid March 28, 2013 at 4:49 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Larry. And yes, I needed an excuse for that snippet from Mary Oliver.

  3. M. Firpi March 28, 2013 at 7:47 pm - Reply

    I like the action detail. You did a sequence of Kingfishers at some other post which were amazing; (like multiple exposures put together). I’ve seen them here too, but too elusive to shoot.

    • ingrid March 29, 2013 at 2:53 pm - Reply

      Maria, thank you for remembering that. Yeah, I captured another kingfisher in flight (similar location) and was able to create a composite from the different poses in the flying and hovering. They are incredibly elusive. I find I can photograph them when they are intent on something in the water, either perched or hovering. Last year, I watched a beautiful, excited display of young Belted Kingfishers just out of the nest (nearby to home here), and all four family members were circling around overhead in a way that was difficult not to interpret as exuberance. Now *that* was tough to photograph, they’re so fast and were a bit too far away. I got one or two passable shots from that event.

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