White-throated Kingfisher

Conservation status

Least Concern

Population Trend


Alternate Names

White-breasted Kingfisher, Smyrna Kingfisher

Native Habitat

Riverbank, Woodland, Scrubland


Fish, Crabs, Lizards, Mice


White-throated Kingfisher

Halcyon smyrnensis

The White-throated Kingfisher is a tree kingfisher, widely distributed in Eurasia from Bulgaria, Turkey, east through South Asia to the Philippines.

This kingfisher is a resident over much of its range, although some populations may make short distance movements. It can often be found well away from water where it feeds on a wide range of prey that includes small reptiles, amphibians, crabs, small rodents and even birds. During the breeding season they call loudly in the mornings from prominent perches including the tops of buildings in urban areas or on wires.

This is a large kingfisher, 30 cm in length. The adult has a bright blue back, wings and tail. Its head, shoulders, flanks and lower belly are chestnut, and the throat and breast are white. The large bill and legs are bright red. The flight of the White-throated Kingfisher is rapid and direct, the short rounded wings whirring. In flight, large white patches are visible on the blue and black wings. Male and femal are similar, but juveniles are a duller version of the adult.

Regional Names
  • Bengali:
    ধলাগলা মাছরাঙা
  • Gujarati:
  • Hindi:
    किलकिला, श्वेतकण्ठ कौड़िल्ला
  • Kannada:
  • Malayalam:
  • Marathi:
    खंड्या, धीवर
  • Nepali:
    सेतोकण्ठे माटीकोरे
  • Oriya:
    ଧଳା ବେକିଆ ମାଛରଙ୍କା
  • Punjabi:
    ਵੱਡਾ ਮਛੇਰਾ
  • Sanskrit:
    चंद्रकांत मीनरंक, मीनरंक
  • Tamil:
    வெண்தொண்டை மீன்கொத்தி
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Halcyon smyrnensis

Quick Facts
  • It is a state bird of West Bengal.