What are the Different Types of Kingfisher Birds?

types of kingfisher

There are several types of kingfisher species. Kingfishers or Alcedinidae are a family of small to medium-sized, brightly colored birds within the order Coraciiformes.

They have got a cosmopolitan distribution, with most species discovered within the tropical areas of Africa, Asia, and Oceania. The household accommodates 114 species and is split into three subfamilies and 19 genera.

All kingfishers have massive heads, lengthy, sharp, pointed payments, quick legs, and stubby tails. Most species have vivid plumage with solely small variations between the sexes.

Most species are tropical in distribution, and a slight majority are discovered solely in forests. They eat a variety of prey normally caught by swooping down from a perch.

Whereas kingfishers are normally thought to dwell close to rivers and eat fish, many species dwell away from water and eat small invertebrates.

Like different members of their order, they nest in cavities, normally tunnels dug into the pure or synthetic banks within the floor. Some kingfishers nest in arboreal termite nests.

A couple of species, principally insular varieties, are threatened with extinction. In Britain, the phrase “kingfisher” usually refers back to the widespread kingfisher.

Kingfisher, local name machhranga in the Bengali language a gaggle of compact-bodied birds normally with quick tails, massive heads, and lengthy, heavy, pointed payments, belonging to the households Alcedinidae, Halcyonidae, and Cerylidae of the order Coraciiformes.

About 94 species of kingfishers happen worldwide; the center of abundance is Southeast Asia and New Guinea, however tropical Africa additionally has a sturdy illustration.

In Bangladesh there are 12 species, two of that are threatened: one is endangered and the opposite one is susceptible; three couldn’t be evaluated as a consequence of paucity of knowledge; seven shouldn’t have any rapid threats.


The smallest species of kingfisher is the African dwarf kingfisher (Ispidina lecontei), which averages 10 cm (3.9 in) in size and between 9 and 12 g (0.32 and 0.42 oz) in weight.

The most important kingfisher in Africa is the large kingfisher (Megaceryle maxima), which is 42 to 46 cm (17 to 18 in) in size and 255–426 g (9.0–15.0 oz) in weight.

The acquainted Australian kingfisher often known as the laughing kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae) is the heaviest species with females reaching practically 500 grams (18 oz) in weight.

Probably the most seen distinguishing options of the kingfishers are their bill and toes. The legs are very quick, and the toes are syndactyl, the third and fourth being joined alongside most of their size, and the second and third joined basally; in some species, the second toe is far decreased or absent altogether.

A ‘typical’ kingfisher bill is proportionately massive, strong, typically lengthy, and straight, with a sharply pointed or barely hooked tip. Kingfishers differ in measurement, with a size of 10 cm to greater than 40 cm and a weight of 10 gm to 400 gm.

Their plumage is usually of vivid colors, usually with a flash of metallic brilliance, in blues, greens, purple, and reddish or brown tones, that are continuously offset with white patches or darkish markings.

The wings are typically quick and rounded, whereas the tail varies from extraordinarily quick to very lengthy.

The plumage of most kingfishers is vivid, with inexperienced and blue being the commonest colors.

The brightness of the colors is neither the product of iridescence (besides within the American kingfishers) or pigments, however, it is a substitute brought on by the construction of the feathers, which causes scattering of blue mild (the Tyndall impact).

In most species, no overt variations between the sexes exist; when variations happen, they’re fairly small (lower than 10%).

The kingfishers have lengthy, dagger-like payments. The bill is normally longer and extra compressed in species that hunt fish and shorter and extra broad in species that hunt prey off the bottom.

The most important and most atypical bill is that of the shovel-billed kookaburra, which is used to dig by the forest flooring looking for prey.

They typically have quick legs, though species that feed on the bottom have longer tarsi. Most species have 4 toes, three of that are forward-pointing.

The irises of most species are darkish brown. The kingfishers have glorious imaginative and prescient; they’re able to binocular imaginative and prescient and are thought particularly to have good color imaginative and prescient.

They’ve restricted motion of their eyes inside the eye sockets, as a substitute utilizing head actions to trace prey.

As well as, they’re able to compensate for the refraction of water and reflection when searching prey underwater, and are capable of deciding depth underneath water precisely.

Additionally, they have nictitating membranes that cowl the eyes to guard them once they hit the water; the pied kingfisher has a bony plate that slides throughout the attention when it hits the water.

Distribution and habitat

The kingfishers have a cosmopolitan distribution, occurring all through the world’s tropical and temperate areas.

They’re absent from the polar areas and a number of the world’s driest deserts. A variety of species have reached island teams, notably these within the south and the eastern Pacific Ocean.

The Previous World tropics and Australasia are the core areas for this group. Europe and North America north of Mexico are very poorly represented, with just one common kingfisher (common kingfisher and belted kingfisher, respectively), and a few unusual or very native species every: (ringed kingfisher and inexperienced kingfisher within the southwestern United States, pied kingfisher and white-throated kingfisher in southeastern Europe).

The six species occurring within the Americas are 4 carefully associated inexperienced kingfishers within the genus Chloroceryle and two massive crested kingfishers within the genus Megaceryle.

Even tropical South America has solely 5 species plus the wintering belted kingfisher. Compared, the African nation of the Gambia has eight resident species in its 120-by-20-mile (193 by 32 km) space.

Particular person species could have large ranges, just like the widespread kingfisher, which ranges from Eire throughout Europe, North Africa, and Asia so far as the Solomon Islands in Australasia, or the pied kingfisher, which has a widespread distribution throughout Africa and Asia.

Different species have a lot smaller ranges, notably insular species that are endemic to single small islands. The Kofiau paradise kingfisher is restricted to the island of Kofiau off New Guinea.

Kingfishers occupy a variety of habitats. Whereas they’re usually related to rivers and lakes, over half the world’s species are present in forests and forested streams. Additionally, they occupy a variety of different habitats.

The red-backed kingfisher of Australia lives within the driest deserts, though kingfishers are absent from different dry deserts just like the Sahara.

Different species dwell excessively in mountains, or in open woodland, and a lot of species dwell on tropical coral atolls.

Quite a few species have tailored to human-modified habitats, notably these tailored to woodlands, and could also be present in cultivated and agricultural areas, in addition to parks and gardens in cities and cities.

Behavior and ecology

Diet and feeding

Kingfishers feed on all kinds of prey. They’re most well-known for searching and consuming fish, and a few species do concentrate on catching fish, however, different species take crustaceans, frogs and different amphibians, annelid worms, mollusks, bugs, spiders, centipedes, reptiles (together with snakes), and even birds and mammals.

Particular person species could concentrate on a couple of gadgets or take all kinds of prey, and for species with massive international distributions, totally different populations could have totally different diets.

Woodland and forest kingfishers take primarily bugs, notably grasshoppers, whereas the water kingfishers are extra specialized in taking fish.

The red-backed kingfisher has been noticed hammering into the mud nests of fairy martins to feed on their nestlings.

Kingfishers normally hunt from an uncovered perch; when prey merchandise is noticed, the kingfisher swoops down to grab it, then returns to the perch.

Kingfishers of all three households beat bigger prey on a perch to kill the prey and to dislodge or break protecting spines and bones.

Having crushed the prey, it’s manipulated after which swallowed. Generally, a pellet of bones, scales, and different indigestible particles is coughed up.

The shovel-billed kookaburra makes use of its large, huge bill as a shovel to dig for worms in tender mud.


Kingfishers are territorial, some species defending their territories vigorously. They’re typically monogamous, though cooperative breeding has been noticed in some species and is kind of widespread in others, for instance, the laughing kookaburra, the place helpers support the dominant breeding pair in elevating the younger.

Like all Coraciiformes, the kingfishers are cavity nesters in addition to tree nesters, with most species nesting in holes dug within the floor.

These holes are normally in earth banks on the edges of rivers, lakes, or man-made ditches. Some species could nest in holes in bushes, the earth clinging to the roots of an uprooted tree, or arboreal nests of termites (termitarium).

These termite nests are widespread in forest species. The nests take the type of a small chamber on the finish of a tunnel.

Nest-digging duties are shared between the genders. Throughout the preliminary excavations, the fowl could fly on the chosen site with appreciable pressure, and birds have injured themselves fatally whereas doing this.

The size of the tunnels varies by species and site; nests in termitariums are essentially a lot shorter than these dug into the earth, and nests in more durable substrates are shorter than these in tender soil or sand.

The longest tunnels recorded are these of the large kingfisher, which have been discovered to be 8.5 m (28 ft) lengthy.

The eggs of kingfishers are invariably white. The everyday clutch measurement varies by species; a number of the very massive and really small species lay as few as two eggs per clutch, whereas others could lay 10 eggs, every day is around three to 6 eggs.

Each sex incubates the eggs. The offspring of the kingfisher normally stick with the mother and father for 3–four months.

Types of kingfisher

There are 12 species of kingfishers present in The Indian Subcontinent, these stunning birds are one of the fascinating topics of wildlife images.

White-Throated Kingfisher

The white-throated kingfisher also referred to as Tree kingfisher is probably the most generally seen species of Kingfisher discovered within the Indian Subcontinent.

Tree kingfisher is a resident of city areas at all times discovered sitting on wires or trees and recognized for loudly calls.

Widespread Kingfisher

Widespread kingfisher also referred to as River Kingfisher is although not so widespread, discovered throughout the river forest of India and an essential member of the ecosystem. The small kingfisher eats fish, the Male has blue upper parts, and the feminine has inexperienced.

Pied Kingfisher

Pied kingfisher or water kingfisher is a black and white species, greatest recognized for the behavior of hovering over clear lakes and rivers earlier than diving for fish.

The diving kingfisher primarily feeds on fish and as of now, there are five subspecies recognized.


Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher is probably the most stunning kingfisher fowl of the Indian subcontinent, endemic throughout a lot of the coast of India, and breeds solely through the southwest monsoon in June.

The rainbow-colored kingfisher popularly often known as ODK and also referred to as Jewel of the Konkan among the many fowl watchers.

Collared Kingfisher

Collared Kingfisher or mangrove kingfisher is a medium-sized kingfisher, mostly present in the coastal space of India, which is one of the types of kingfisher.

The additional subspecies happen regionally across the coasts of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Blue Eared Kingfisher

Blue Eared Kingfisher is a small kingfisher species, present in Asia starting from the Indian subcontinent to Southeast Asia, which one of the types of the kingfisher.

The small kingfisher discovered in additional open habitats and virtually identical to the widespread kingfisher however the blue ear coverts.


The Ruddy Kingfisher distributed from India to Southeast Asia, Discovered principally in forested areas, jungles and rainforests.

Like all different kingfishers present in India, ruddy kingfishers can be feed on fish, massive bugs, and amphibians, types of kingfishers.

Crested Kingfisher

Crested kingfisher is a big species of kingfisher, discovered from the jungle of the Indian Subcontinent to coastal of Japan, which is one of the types of kingfisher.

This mountain fowl is a resident of the Himalayas and mountain foothills in India, and Bangladesh.

Blyth’s Kingfisher

Blyth’s kingfisher is a big-sized kingfisher, ranges from Nepal by India, Bangladesh, and Vietnam, principally discovered alongside the small ponds, lakes, rivers, and streams.


The brown-winged kingfisher is an attractive tree kingfisher species present in India, primarily reported from the Sundarbans area of West Bengal from the mangrove forest. Picture Supply- Wiki.


Stork-billed kingfisher is one other massive species of tree kingfisher, lives in a wide range of habitats like close to water, coastal space, and across the rivers.

The stork billed kingfisher distributed within many of the states of India, from Kerala to West Bengal, which is one of the types of kingfisher.

Black-capped Kingfisher

The black-capped kingfisher is migratory and primarily present in coastal and mangrove habitats of West Bengal.

Sundarban mangrove forest is, without doubt, one of the greatest places to identify 5 species of kingfisher fowl in India, which is one of the types of kingfisher.

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Standing and conservation

A variety of species are thought of threatened by human actions and are at risk of extinction. The vast majority of these are forest species with restricted distribution, notably insular species.

They’re threatened by habitat loss brought on by forest clearance or degradation and in some circumstances by launched species.

The Marquesan kingfisher of French Polynesia is listed as critically endangered as a consequence of a mixture of habitat loss and degradation brought on by launched cattle, and presumably as a consequence of predation by launched species.

types of kingfisher

Types of kingfisher found in Bangladesh

English name Scientific name Local name Distribution
Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis Choto machhranga Wide
Blyth’s Kingfisher Alcedo hercules  Mixed Evergreen Forest
Blue-eared Kingfisher Alcedo meninting Southeast, Central, and South in wooded wetlands
Brown-winged Kingfisher Halcyon amauroptera  [Pelargopsis amauroptera Machhranga SundarbansMangrove Forest
Stork-billed Kingfisher Halcyon capensis [Pelargopsis capensis] Megh-hao Wide
Ruddy Kingfisher Halcyon coromandra Lal machhranga  Sundarbans Mangrove Forest
Black-capped Kingfisher Halcyon pileata Coasts including St Martin’s Island
White-throated Kingfisher [White-breasted Kingfisher]  Halcyon smyrnensis Machhranga Wide
Collared Kingfisher [White-collared Kingfisher] Todiramphus chloris [Halcyon chloris] Coasts including St Martin’s Island
Pied Kingfisher [Lesser Pied Kingfisher] Ceryle rudis Pakra machhranga Wide
Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher [Threetoed Kingfisher]  Ceyx erithacus Buno machhranga Forests
Crested Kingfisher Megaceryle lugubris [Ceryle lugubris]

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