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Green-backed Kingfisher - BirdForum Opus

Revision as of 10:03, 18 August 2023 by THEFERN-13145 (talk | contribs) (→‎Subspecies)
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Alternative names: Blue-headed Kingfisher; Black-headed Kingfisher

Male, subspecies monachus
Photo © by mehd halaouate
Northern Sulawesi, Indonesia, October 2005
Actenoides monachus

Includes Black-headed Kingfisher


31–32 cm, 12.2 - 12.6 inches. 150 g


Female, subspecies monachus
Photo © by codexluminati
Tangkoko, northern Sulawesi, Indonesia, October 2014
  • Blue head
  • Brown iris
  • Red beak
  • Green upperparts and wings
  • Rufous collar and underparts
  • White throat
  • Greeny blue tail
  • Legs and feet orangey red



Subspecies capucinus, Black-headed Kingfisher
Photo © by dandsblair
Karaenta, Sulawesi, Indonesia

South-east Asia: endemic to Indonesia where found on Sulawesi and adjacent Manadotua and Lembeh islands.


Subspecies capucinus is frequently treated as a separate species.


Two subspecies recognized [1]:

  • A. m. monachus: Northern and central Sulawesi, Manadotua and Lembeh islands
  • A. m. capucinus: Black head Kingfisher: Eastern, south-eastern and southern Sulawesi


Dense tropical moist lowland forests, usually no higher than 900 m.


A forest kingfisher.


Their diet consists of large centipedes, beetles, etc. Perches silently at 1-5m in understorey or midstorey sections, mainly close to the trunk of trees or fallen trees then diving for food in leaf litter. Possibly partly crepuscular.


Most likely lays eggs in February and March. Records show that recently fledged juveniles found in April. Eggs found in nest in March. Nest found in an excavated termites nest with an entrance tunnel of 5 cm in diameter, 23 cm long, ending in nesting chamber of 15 cm diameter.


Long, musical, up and down whistles, repeated after six seconds; also shorter at about 2 seconds. Slowly ascending “huuuu”, after a short pause a sad slightly higher “wéééé”, ending in a short suppressed, lower “uu”, repeated after approximately 6 seconds. Calls mostly around sunrise and later in day if it is overcast; brash “raak-raak-kraaa” alarm call.


  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. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved August 2015)
  3. BF Member observations

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