White-throated Kingfisher

Scientific Name: Halcyon smyrnensis

Malay Name: Pekaka Dada Putih

Chinese Name: 白胸翡翠

Range: Found from Egypt, Turkey, Middle East, Indian subcontinent, southern China to Southeast Asia

Taxonomy: Polytypic. Subspecies are: smyrnensis, fusca, perpulchra, saturatior, fokiensis.

Local Subspecies: perpulchra

Size: 27.5-29.5 cm

Identification: Adult has dark chestnut head, flanks and belly with contrasting whitish throat and centre of breast, mostly turquoise-blue mantle, wings and tail, dark chestnut/blackish wing-coverts and reddish bill. Juvenile has duller upperparts, browner bill and dark vermiculations on throat and breast.

Similar looking species: Black-capped Kingfisher

Habitat: Parks, gardens and wooded areas near open grass patches, water-bodies, canals, rivers and mangroves.

Behaviour/Ecology: Feeds on fish, lizards, insects and small amphibians.

Local Status: Very common resident

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2017)

Location: Any patch of suitable habitat.

Featured articles:


BirdLife International. (2017). Halcyon smyrnensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-3.RLTS.T22725846A119289544.en. 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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