Blyth’s Kingfisher

Blyth’s Kingfisher Alcedo hercules is scarce resident Yunnan, Jiangxi (Jiulianshan), Fujian, and Hainan. HABITAT Mainly along large streams in broadleaved forests, to 900 m (2,950 ft.). ID & COMPARISON Patterned much like Common Kingfisher A. atthis, but Common has orange band on ear coverts, is lighter above than Blyth’s, and is three-quarters its size. Blue and black above, with obvious speckling on crown and nape, and blue spotting on wings. Bright blue rump and back and short tail. Like Common, has orange lores and white rear ear coverts and a white throat; more deep fire-orange below than Common. BARE PARTS Bill long, heavy (longer and heavier than Common), all-black in male, in female black above and orange-red below. Feet orange. VOICE Whistle deeper and more hoarse than Common. — Craig Brelsford

THE KINGFISHERS OF CHINA covers every species of kingfisher in China. Click any link:

Crested Kingfisher
Crested Kingfisher

Stork-billed Kingfisher Pelargopsis capensis
Ruddy Kingfisher Halcyon coromanda
Black-capped Kingfisher H. pileata
White-throated Kingfisher H. smyrnensis
Collared Kingfisher Todiramphus chloris
Blue-eared Kingfisher Alcedo meninting
Common Kingfisher A. atthis
Blyth’s Kingfisher A. hercules
Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher Ceyx erithaca
Crested Kingfisher Megaceryle lugubris
Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis


Daniel Bengtsson served as chief ornithological consultant for Craig Brelsford’s Photographic Field Guide to the Birds of China, from which this species description is drawn.

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