Common Kingfisher

Conservation status

Least Concern

Population Trend


Alternate Names

Eurasian Kingfisher, River Kingfisher, Small Blue Kingfisher

Native Habitat

Lake, River, Nala


Fish, Insects


Common Kingfisher

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The Common Kingfisher is a small kingfisher with seven subspecies recognized within its wide distribution across Eurasia and North Africa. It is resident in much of its range, but migrates from areas where rivers freeze in winter.

This sparrow-sized bird has the typical short-tailed, large-headed kingfisher profile; it has blue upperparts, orange underparts and a long bill. It feeds mainly on fish, caught by diving, and has special visual adaptions to enable it to see prey under water. The glossy white eggs are laid in a nest at the end of a burrow in a riverbank.

This species has the typical short-tailed, dumpy-bodied large-headed and long-billed kingfisher shape. It has a green-blue neck stripe, white neck blaze and throat, rufous underparts, and a black bill with some red at the base. The legs and feet are bright red. It is 20 cm long with a wingspan of 25 cm and weighs 50 gms

The female is identical in appearance to the male except that her lower mandible is orange-red with a black tip. The juvenile is similar to the adult, but with duller and greener upperparts and paler underparts. Its bill is black, and the legs are also initially black. The flight of the Kingfisher is fast, direct and usually low over water. A bird flying away shows an electric-blue flash down its back.

Regional Names
  • Bengali:
    পাতি মাছরাঙা
  • Bhojpuri:
  • Gujarati:
    નાનો કલકલિયો
  • Hindi:
    छोटा किलकिला, राम चिरैया, शरीफन
  • Kannada:
    ನೀಲಿ ಮಿಂಚುಳ್ಳಿ
  • Malayalam:
    ചെറിയ മീൻകൊത്തി
  • Marathi:
    छोटा खंड्या, धिंदळा (आदिवासी भाग)
  • Nepali:
    सानो माटीकोरे
  • Sanskrit:
    लघु मीनरंक
  • Tamil:
    சிறு நீல மீன்கொத்தி
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