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Blue-breasted Kingfisher - BirdForum Opus

Halcyon malimbica
Photo by Steve G
Marakissa, Western Division, The Gambia, West Africa, March 2005


25 cm

  • Bright blue head, back, wing panel and tail
  • White underparts
  • Blue breast band
  • Black shoulders
  • Red upper mandible and black lower mandible
  • Bright red legs

Sexes similar
Juveniles: duller than adults

Photo by scottishdude
The Gambia, March 2010


Sub-Saharan Africa: From Mauritania to Ethiopia, Tanzania, Zambia, and Angola.



Halcyon malimbica has four subspecies:

  • H. m. malimbica:
  • H. m. torquata:
  • H. m. forbesi:
  • H. m.dryas:
  • Príncipe Island and (formerly) São Tomé Island (Gulf of Guinea)


Freshwater creeks & Mangroves, well-wooded wetland with good canopy cover; gardens.



The diet includes frogs and fish, large insects, arthropods, and the Oil Palm fruits.


It nests in a hole in a tree termite nest. The clutch consists of 2 round white eggs.


Call: a whistled pu-pu-pu-pu-ku-ku-ku-ku.


  1. Clements, JF. 2009. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2009. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.
  2. Avibase
  3. Wikipedia
  4. BF Member observations

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