Belted Kingfisher, the 2023 ABA Bird of the Year!

by Frank Izaguirre


Artist, educator, birder, social media rockstar: The ABA is thrilled to have the extremely talented Liz Clayton Fuller depict the ABA’s 2023 Bird of the Year, the Belted Kingfisher! Her work, entitled “Queenfisher,” is an instant classic in the ABA’s Bird of the Year artwork series. Liz lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where she pursues her twin passions of nature and art, producing work that is gorgeous, vibrant, and fun. Liz appeared on the American Birding Podcast on Apr. 14, 2022. For more information about her work, including the art courses she teaches, visit her website:

For so many birders throughout the ABA Area, the sound of this familiar rattle call along rivers, lakes, and wetlands elicits the same excited gasp: “Belted Kingfisher!”

The ABA is following up its 2022 celebration of the beloved Burrowing Owl by honoring the Belted Kingfisher, Megaceryle alcyon, in 2023. Bold, resolute, and recognizable along much of the ABA Area’s shorelines, look for Belted Kingfisher content throughout the year in all the ABA’s media. The January Birding, arriving in members’ mailboxes and inboxes soon, features several Bird of the Year articles: let us know how you like them!

Gracing the cover of the January Birding is artist Liz Clayton Fuller’s jaw-dropping artwork, which so stunningly captures the beauty of a female Belted Kingfisher enmeshed in the flora that surrounds her. Read an interview with Liz Clayton Fuller in the January Birding and listen to her speak on the American Birding Podcast. We hope ABA members love the 2023 Bird of the Year art and all our Bird of the Year content, whether in Birding magazine, on the ABA website, or anywhere else.

Have you seen a Belted Kingfisher, and, if so, when did you see one most recently? And if you see a Belted Kingfisher in 2023, consider submitting to Birding magazine’s Celebrations column by writing to

From Birding magazine:

Belted Kingfisher Wordsearch (600kb PDF) >>

Coloring Page (300kb PDF)>>