They are noisy and dart about with a loud call, ceaselessly either inviting or warning away visitors. Belted Kingfishers (Megaceryle alcyon) normally would winter much further south, but it seems due to this year'’s mild winter, this female, with her chestnut belly band, likes the open waters of Lake Hopatcong just fine. If the lake remains unfrozen, there are opportunities for her to continue fishing without the long flight.

Photos and Story by Anthony Lawson

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Anthony Lawson is a New Jersey Press Association multiple award-winning photographer. He has been actively capturing the spirit of Jefferson Township for over a decade; first in the “AIM Jefferson” and now in “The Jefferson Chronicle”. A 25 year resident of the township, he has a four-decade long photography career which included event photography, landscape art, and most recently photo journalism.