Black-capped Kingfisher

Scientific Name: Halcyon pileata

Malay Name: Pekaka Ubun Hitam

Chinese Name: 蓝翡翠

Range: Found from China, Korea to Japan with more northerly populations wintering to Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia

Taxonomy: Monotypic.

Size: 29-31.5 cm

Identification: Adult has black crown and head-sides, white collar, throat and upper-breast, dull rufous rest of underparts, thick red bill and deep blue upperparts with mostly black wing-coverts. Shows large white patch on primaries when seen in flight. Juvenile resembles adult but has duller blue upperparts and dark vermiculations on sides of throat and breast.

Similar looking species: White-throated Kingfisher

Habitat: Mangroves, various coastal and inland wetlands., gardens and wooded areas

Behaviour/Ecology: Diet consists mostly of fish, lizard, frog and large insects.

Local Status: Uncommon migrant

Conservation Status: Vulnerable (BirdLife International 2022)

Location: Sungei Buloh, Kranji Marsh, Pulau Ubin, Bidadari, Chinese Garden, Pasir Ris Park, Pasir Ris Farmway 3, Lorong Halus, West Coast Park and Tuas South.

Migrant bar chart (see more bar charts):

Black-capped Kingfisher Halcyon pileata
Estimated average number of individuals by week based on eBird data, Jul 2013 to Jun 2023
Peak week Jan 01-Jan 07
Early date 26 Sep 1986
Late date 10 May 2022
This colourful kingfisher is a scarce winter visitor mostly seen from Oct to Mar every year.


BirdLife International. (2022). Halcyon pileata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2022. Accessed on 1 January 2023

Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.

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