White Throated Kingfisher Bird – Description and Facts

white throated kingfisher

The white-throated kingfisher, scientific name Halcyon smyrnensis also referred to as the white-breasted kingfisher is a tree kingfisher, extensively distributed in Asia from the Sinai east by way of the Indian subcontinent to the Philippines.

In this article, I am going to disuss about white-throated kingfisher sound, scientific name, habitat, facts, lifespan, natural habitat, etc.

This white-throated kingfisher is a resident over a lot of its vary, though some populations might make brief distance actions.

It may well usually be discovered effectively away from water the place it feeds on a variety of prey that features small reptiles, amphibians, crabs, small rodents, and even birds.

Through the breeding season, they name loudly within the mornings from distinguished perches together with the tops of buildings in city areas or on wires.

White-throated kingfisher Geographic range

Halcyon smyrnensis smyrnensis: Arabian Peninsula to the Caucasus Mountains and nw India
Halcyon smyrnensis fusca: W India and Sri Lanka
Halcyon smyrnensis saturatior: Andaman Islands
Halcyon smyrnensis perpulchra: Myanmar to the Malay Peninsula and Indochina

White-throated kingfisher Description

This can be a massive kingfisher, 27–28 cm (10.6–11.zero in) in size. The grownup has a vivid blue again, wings and tail. Its head, shoulders, flanks, and decrease stomach are chestnut, and the throat and breast are white. The big bill and legs are vivid crimson.

The flight of the white-throated kingfisher is fast and direct, the brief rounded wings whirring. In-flight, massive white patches are seen on the blue and black wings.

Sexes are comparable, however, juveniles are a duller model of the grownup.

This white-throated kingfisher species types a superspecies with Halcyon cyanoventris and most main works acknowledge 4 geographic races.

They differ clinically in dimension, the shades of blue on the mantle which is extra greenish in smyrnensis and fusca and extra blue or purplish in saturation.

H. s. gularis of the Philippines has solely the neck and throat white. It’s generally handled as a definite species, H. gularis. Race fusca is present in Peninsular India and Sri Lanka and is barely smaller, bluer, and with a darker brown underside than the nominate race present in northwestern India.

Race saturatior is discovered within the Andaman Islands and is bigger with darker brown underparts. Race perpulchra is present in northeastern India and is smaller than fusca with paler underparts. Albinism has been famous every so often.

The English of white-throated was launched for the reason that varies is massive and geographic adjectives would make the title too restrictive, whereas the older title of white-breasted wouldn’t describe the jap race which has solely the throat white.

The decision of this kingfisher is a chuckling chake-ake-ake-ake-ake. They’re significantly noisy within the breeding season.

White-throated kingfisher Habitat and distribution

White-throated kingfisher is a standard species of a wide range of habitats, principally open nation within the plains (however has been seen at 7500 ft within the Himalayas) with timber, wires or different perches. The vary of species is increasing.

This kingfisher is widespread and populations usually are not threatened. The common density of 4.58 people per km2. has been famous within the Sundarbans mangroves.

Forest: Subtropical/Tropical Dry, Subtropical/Tropical Dry, Subtropical/Tropical Moist

Lowland, Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland, Subtropical/Tropical Mangrove Vegetation Above Excessive Tide Stage, Subtropical/Tropical Mangrove Vegetation Above Excessive Tide Stage, Subtropical/Tropical Swamp, Subtropical/Tropical Swamp; Wetlands (inland) :

Wetlands (inland): Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands, Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands ; Marine Intertidal: Marine Intertidal :

Rocky Shoreline, Rocky Shoreline, Sandy Shoreline and/or Seashores, Sand Bars, Spits, And so forth, Sandy Shoreline and/or Seashores, Sand Bars, Spits, And so forth, Shingle and/or Pebble Shoreline and/or Seashores, Shingle and/or Pebble Shoreline and/or Seashores, Mud Flats and Salt Flats, Mud Flats and Salt Flats; Synthetic/Terrestrial :

Synthetic/Terrestrial: Arable Land, Arable Land, Pastureland, Pastureland, Plantations, Plantations, Rural Gardens, Rural Gardens, Urban Areas, City Areas; Synthetic/Aquatic and Marine.

Synthetic/Aquatic and Marine: Water Storage Areas (over 8ha), Water Storage Areas (over 8ha), Ponds (under 8ha), Ponds (under 8ha), Canals and Drainage Channels, Ditches, Canals, and Drainage Channels, Ditches

white throated kingfisher


It perches conspicuously on wires or different uncovered perches inside its territory and is a frequent sight in south Asia.

This species primarily hunts massive crustaceans, bugs, earthworms, rodents, snakes, fish, and frogs.

Predation of small birds such because the Indian white-eye, chick of a red-wattled lapwing, sparrows, and munias have been reported.

The younger are fed totally on invertebrates. In captivity, it has been famous that it not often drinks water though bathing commonly.

White-throated kingfisher Breeding

The white-throated kingfisher begins breeding on the onset of the Monsoons. Males perch on distinguished excessive posts of their territory and name within the early morning.

The tail could also be flicked now and in its courtship show, the wings are stiffly flicked open for a second or two exposing the white wing mirrors.

Additionally, they increase their bill excessively and show the white throat and entrance. The feminine in invitation makes a fast and extended kit-kit-kit… name.

The nest is a tunnel (50 cm lengthy, however a nest with a 3-foot tunnel has been famous) in an earth financial institution.

The nest construction begins with each bird flying into an acceptable mud wall till an indentation is made the place they’ll discover a perch maintain.

They subsequently perch and proceed to dig the nest with their payments. Nest tunnels in a haystack have additionally been recorded.

A single clutch of 4-7 spherical white eggs is typical. The eggs take 20–22 days to hatch whereas the chicks fledge in 19 days.


Birds have generally been seen interested in lights in the evening, particularly through the monsoon season, suggesting that they’re partly migratory.


With a robust bill and fast flight, these kingfishers have few predators when wholesome and uncommon instances of predation by a black kite and a jungle crow could also be of sick or injured birds.

A person discovered useless with its beak embedded into the wood of a tree has been recommended as an accident throughout the fast pursuit of prey, probably an Indian white-eye. Just a few parasites have been famous.

Within the 1800s these birds had been hunted for his or her vivid feathers that had been used to adorn hats. It’s the state bird of West Bengal.

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