Belted Kingfisher Accepts Award

Named 2023 Bird of the Year by the American Birding Association

Greetings to all my adoring fans!

As many of you may have heard, the year 2023 has been officially recognized as MY year! In December of 2022, the American Birding Association announced that the Belted Kingfisher is the official 2023 Bird of the Year. And I must say, it is about time!

It is my greatest pleasure to humbly accept this prestigious award. I always knew that I was hatched for greatness! Many years ago, after a Naturalist at CNC witnessed my graceful flight, I was chosen as the official mascot of the Chattahoochee Nature Center, and I have proudly appeared on both the logo and the sign of the Nature Center ever since. Not to mention the pond, wooded hiking trail, and fledgling human summer camp, which all bear my name. Indeed, I am a very special bird!

My kin may be found throughout much of the United States, but we Kingfishers are anything but common. You may chance to see us perched along the banks of streams, lakes, and rivers where we love diving for tasty fish. Perhaps you will see me on your next visit to the Chattahoochee Nature Center’s River Boardwalk Trail. Since I am a rather small bird, you will likely hear my BEAUTIFUL voice before you spot me (some people of poor taste still seem to insist that my voice sounds like a rattle! The nerve!). I also love to make special guest appearances at various special events throughout the year at CNC.

It is a great honor to finally be recognized by the greater birding community as the truly unique and wonderful bird that I am! I want to thank my mother, who raised me in her burrow from an egg to a tiny fledgling to the star that I am today. I would also like to thank everyone at the Chattahoochee Nature Center who understood my stellar qualities from the very beginning. I want to thank the American Birding Association and all the birders and bird lovers out there who have made this moment possible. And to you, all my lovely fans, go my greatest thanks! Please come visit me at the Chattahoochee Nature Center to celebrate this fabulous year. Cheers to the Year of the Belted Kingfisher!

With much love,

(This article was written with help from a couple of humans, Mark Gialanella and Rebekah Dolan, as, of course, Kingfishers have no hands!)