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Common Paradise Kingfisher - BirdForum Opus

ssp. nais: "Amboyna Paradise-kingfisher". Photo © by Rob Hutchinson
Seram, Indonesia, September 2006
Tanysiptera galatea


33–43 cm

  • upperparts dark blue
  • underparts white
  • crown irridescent blue
  • central tail feathers long, blue tipped with white racquets
  • bill red


Southeast Asia: found in Indonesia, Moluccas, Papuan Islands, Australasia: Papua New Guinea



ssp. browningi "Halmahera Paradise-kingfisher". Photo © by THE_FERN. Halmahera, Indonesia, July 2023

There are 15 subspecies [3]. Many of these should probably be better treated as full species [1],[2]. Bioacoustic evidence suggests 6 such taxa (indicated against subspecies below). Aside from acoustic differences, subspecies are mainly distinguished by the shade/intensity of blue and the distribution of white/blue in tail feathers

  • T. (g.) doris: "Morotai Paradise-kingfisher". Morotai (northern Moluccas)
  • T. g. emiliae: "Morotai Paradise-kingfisher". Rau (Moluccas)
  • T. g. browningi: "Halmahera Paradise-kingfisher". Halmahera (northern Moluccas)
  • T. g. brunhildae: "Halmahera Paradise-kingfisher". Doi (Moluccas)
  • T. g. sabrina: "Halmahera Paradise-kingfisher". Kayoa (northern Moluccas)
  • T. (g.) margarethae: "Halmahera Paradise-kingfisher". Bacan (northern Moluccas)
  • T. (g.) obiensis: "Obi Paradise-kingfisher" Central Moluccas (Obi and Bisa)
  • T. g. acis: "Amboyna Paradise-kingfisher". Buru (southern Moluccas)
  • T. g. boanensis: "Amboyna Paradise-kingfisher". Boano (Moluccas)
  • T. (g.) nais: "Amboyna Paradise-kingfisher". Southern Moluccas (Ambon, Manipa, Seram, Manawoka, Gorong)
  • T. (g.) galatea: "Papuan Paradise-kingfisher". North-western New Guinea and western Papuan islands
  • T. g. meyeri: "Papuan Paradise-kingfisher". Northern New Guinea (Mamberamo River to Jimi River Valley)
  • T. g. minor: "Papuan Paradise-kingfisher". Southern New Guinea (Digul River to Kumusi River) and Darnley Island
  • T. g. vulcani: "Papuan Paradise-kingfisher". Manam Island (off Papua New Guinea)
  • T. (g.) rosseliana: "Rossel Paradise-kingfisher". Rossel Island (Louisiade Archipelago)


Lowland moist forests, rainforest and monsoon forest.



The diet includes earthworms, snails, centipedes, beetles, grasshoppers, caterpillars, and lizards.


Monogamous. They excavate a nest chamber in the nests of arboreal termites; 5 eggs are laid and incubated by both sexes who care for the young.


Call: 1-4 long whistles, ending with a loud trill.


  1. Eaton, J.A.. van Balen, B. Brickle, N.W., B Rheindk F.E. (2021). Birds of the Indonesian Archipelago, Greater Sundas and Wallacea. Lynx Edicions. Barcelona. Second Edition
  2. Sin, Y. C. K., Eaton, J. A., Hutchinson, R. O., and Rheindt, F. E. (2022) Re-assessing species limits in a morphologically cryptic Australasian kingfisher lineage (Coraciiformes: Halcyonidae) using bioacoustic data. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 136(4): 489–505. https://doi.org/10.1093/biolinnean/blac047
  3. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, S. M. Billerman, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2022. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2022. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  4. Avibase
  5. Answers.com

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