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American Pygmy Kingfisher - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by the late Jim Wood
Costa Rica, November 2008
Chloroceryle aenea


13 cm (5 in)

  • Oily green upperparts
  • Yellow-orange collar
  • Rufous underparts
  • White belly

Female: has a narrow green breast band
Young birds resemble the adults, but have paler rufous underparts, no breast band, and speckled wings and flanks.

Photo © by rka
Cacandee, Trinidad, 2007


Central and South America
Central America: Mexico, Veracruz, Oaxaca, Tabasco, Chiapas, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Trinidad
South America: Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay



This is a polytipic species consisting of 2 subspecies[1]:

  • C. a. stictoptera :
  • C. a. aenea:


Small woodland streams, rivers and pools. Also in mangroves and wetlands



Their main diet consists of small fish, tadpoles and small frogs. They will also eat some insects such as damselflies.


The unlined nest is in a horizontal tunnel usually into a river bank; sometimes into an earth mound or termite nest. Three or four white eggs are laid.


Call: a weak tik or stony cht cht.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Avibase
  3. Woodall, P.F. (2019). American Pygmy-kingfisher (Chloroceryle aenea). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/55804 on 2 August 2019).

Recommended Citation

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GSearch checked for 2020 platform.