Alternative name: Grey-hooded Kingfisher
- Halcyon leucocephala
Length 20-22 cm (7¾-8½ in).
A medium-sized kingfisher with a grey head and chestnut belly.
Sub-Saharan Africa and Arabian Peninsula:
Western Africa: Mauritania, Senegambia, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Zaire
Eastern Africa: Sudan, South Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi
Southern Africa: Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Swaziland
African Islands: Cape Verde
Middle East: Arabian Peninsula: Saudi Arabia, Yemen
Halcyon leucocephala has five subspecies:
- H. l. acteon
- Cape Verde Islands
- H. l. semicaerulea
- Red Sea coast of extreme southern Arabian Peninsula
- H. l. leucocephala
- H. l. hyacinthina
- H. l. pallidiventris
Found close to water in West Africa; in East Africa they seem to favour open woodland, often some distance from water. Bushy grassland, thickets and parks.
Feeds mainly on insects taken on or near the ground; also eats fish, frogs, grasshoppers, reptiles, small mammals and birds (including Bronze Mannikin, Red-throated Wryneck and chicks of Red-billed Quelea, White-eared Barbet and Black-collared Barbet).
- Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
- Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved October 2015)
- BF Member observations
- BirdForum Opus contributors. (2021) Grey-headed Kingfisher. In: BirdForum, the forum for wild birds and birding. Retrieved 2 March 2021 from https://www.birdforum.net/wiki/Grey-headed_Kingfisher