CORACIIFORMES of Asia

The Coraciiformes are very colorful birds. They reside mainly in the Old World, but there are also some in the New World. Some include the hornbills and trogons in this order, but that will not be done here.


River Kingfishers

Order Coraciiformes    Family Alcedinidae

The river kingfishers are one of the three families of bird in the kingfisher group. The family is widespread through Africa, through east and south Asia as far as Australia, with one species, the also appearing in Europe and northern Asia. These are brightly plumaged compact birds with short tails, large heads and long bills. They feed on insects or fish, and lay white eggs in a self-excavated burrow. [abstracted from Wikipedia]


Genus Alcedo

Kingfisher, Common Alcedo atthis Found: Euope, Asia, Africa, Australia
The European male subspecies Common Kingfisher has azure-blue upperparts; white freckles on azure-blue head; rufous underparts, ear patch; green-blue neck stripe; white throat, neck blaze; black bill with some red at base; red legs. Female identical exept the bill's lower mandible is orange-red with black tip. Other subspecies have a gray back
Image by:  1) Ravi Vaidyanathan  2, 3, 4) Lukasz Lukasik  5) Cristiano Crolle - Naole, Italy





Water Kingfishers

Order Coraciiformes    Family Cerylidae

The water kingfishers are one of the three families of kingfishers. All American kingfischer species are in this family. These are all fish-eating species, unlike many representatives of the other two families.


Genus Ceryle - 1 species

Kingfisher, Pied Ceryle rudis   Found: Asia (including China and India), Africa
The Pied Kingfisher is black and white. It has upperparts barred in black; white underparts with black breast band; black eye-mask. Male has wide black collar; thin lower breast collar. Female has two separate marks on breast.
Similar to: Crested Kingfisher. Pied Kingfisher has clearly defined neck collar marks; Crested Kingfisher has smudged breast band.
Image by:  1, 2) Arno Meintjes  3) Dick Daniels - Fish Eagle Lodge, Knysna Lagoon, Kenya   4, 5, 6) Dick - St. Lucia, South Africa  
1, 3, 4) Female 




Genus Megaceryle
All are fish eaters. They have prominant head creast; gray or grayish-blue upperparts; white or rufous underparts; underparts pattern always different for the two sexes.

Kingfisher, Crested  also Himalayan Pied Kingfisher  Megaceryle lugubris  Found: Asia
The Crested Kingfisher is very large; has black and white upperparts, crested head; white underparts with black and white breast band. Somtimes there is some rufous on the breast.
Similar to: Pied Kingfisher. Pied Kingfisher has clearly defined neck collar marks; Crested Kingfisher has smudged breast band.
Image by: 1) Caesar Photography   2) Ron Knight





Tree Kingfishers

Order Coraciiformes    Family Halcyonidae

The tree kingfishers are the most numerous of the three families of birds in the kingfisher group. Tree kingfishers are widespread through Asia and Australasia, but also appear in Africa and the islands of the Pacific and Indian Oceans, utilising a range of habitats from tropical rainforest to open woodlands. The tree kingfishers are short-tailed large-headed compact birds with long pointed bills. Most are monogamous and territorial, nesting in holes in trees or termite nests. Although some tree kingfishers frequent wetlands, none are specialist fish-eaters. Most species dive onto prey from a perch, mainly taking slow moving invertebrates or small vertebrates. [abstracted from Wikipedia]


Genus Halcyon

Kingfisher, Black-capped  Halcyon pileata  Found: Asia
The Black-capped Kingfisher has blue back, tail; black crown, wings; white neck, throat, breast; rufous belly; red bill, legs.
Image by: 1) JJ Harrison - Thailand  2) Johnny Wee


Kingfisher, Ruddy  Halcyon coromanda  Found: Asia
The Ruddy Kingfisher has a rust-red body which deepens to purple at the tail; red bill; legs
Image by: 1) Yasaiman - Ueno Zoo, Tokyo, Japan  2) Changhua Coast Conservation


Kingfisher, White-throated also White-breasted Kingfisher  Halcyon smyrnensis  Found: Europe, Asia
The White-throated Kingfisher has blue back, wings, tail; chestnut head, shoulders, flanks, lower belly; white throat, breast; red bill, legs.
Image by:  1) Dick Daniels - Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo   2, 3) Dick - San Diego Zoo   4) Shiva Shankar 



Genus Todiramphus

Kingfisher, Collared  Todiramphus chloris  Found: Asia, Australasia
The Collared Kingfisher has upperparts that vary from blue to green; underparts from white to buff; white collar; may be black eye-line; black bill with pale yellow base to the lower mandible. Females tend to be greener than males.
Image by: 1, 6) Lip Kee - Singapore  2) Tom Tarrant   3) Johnny Wee   4) JJ Harrison - Thailand  5) Dick Daniels - Miami Zoo 
1) Juvenile  2) perhaps Female






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