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Ringed Kingfisher - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by renato.santos.4b
Pocone, Mato Grosso, Brazil, 27 December 2021
Megaceryle torquata


Photo © by Joseph Morlan
Concan, Texas, USA, 13 April 2021

40 cm (15¾ in)

  • Deep blue or bluish-grey upperparts with white markings
  • Shaggy crest
  • White collar
  • Rufous underparts

Females are more colourful than the male, with a bluish-grey breast, and a narrow white stripe separating the breast from the belly.

Similar species

Photo © by nick scarle
Pantanal, Brazil, October 2014

Belted Kingfisher


Ringed Kingfisher is found in southern United States, Central America and South America, and three islands in the Lesser Antilles.

The Lesser Antillean subspecies is doing reasonably well in Dominica, but is very scarce in the other two islands; it may even be extinct from Martinique already (two observations in 10 years).


Scientific name of Ringed Kingfisher has in the past been Ceryle torquatus.


There are 3 subspecies[1]

  • M. t. torquata:
  • M. t. stictipennis:
  • M. t. stellata:
  • Southern Chile and Argentina to Tierra del Fuego; winters to north-eastern Argentina


Photo © by AWPittman
Olon, Ecuador, September 2016

Heavily wood areas near large bodies of water.



Both sexes build a nest in a horizontal tunnel in a river bank or sand bank. The clutch consists of 3 to 6 eggs which are incubated by both parents who both feed the young.


Their diet consists mostly of fish (up to 20cm), with the addition of crabs, salamanders, frogs, aquatic insects, small mammals, lizards and berries.


The most often heard sound is a clattering of beaks, similar to what the European White Stork is able to make. This sound is often given from birds in flight, presumably marking the territory.

Flight call: a single, loud klek.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Brush, T. (2020). Ringed Kingfisher (Megaceryle torquata), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (A. F. Poole, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.rinkin1.01
  3. Wikipedia

Recommended Citation

External Links

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