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African Pygmy Kingfisher - BirdForum Opus

Photo by Steve G
Arabuko-Sokoke Forest, Coastal Kenya, August 2007
Ispidina picta

Ceyx pictus


Length 12-13 cm,(4.72-5.12 inches) mass 11-19 g
A tiny kingfisher with rufous underparts and a blue back extending down to the tail.

Similar Species

The dark blue crown of the adult separates it from the African Dwarf Kingfisher.
The smaller size and violet wash on the ear coverts distinguish it from the similar Malachite Kingfisher.


Widespread throughout Sub-Saharan Africa:
Western Africa: Mauritania, Senegambia, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Mali, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo, Angola
Eastern Africa: Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi
Southern Africa: Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal, eSwatini

Photo by Marc Guyt
Lake Baringo, Kenya


There are three subspecies[1]:

  • I. p. pictus
  • I. p. ferrugina
  • I. p. natalensis


Woodland pools, moist forest and Bushveld.


Although it is generally found close to water it actually hunts terrestrial insects and not fish.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2014. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.9., with updates to August 2014. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Avibase

Recommended Citation

External Links

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