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American Pygmy Kingfisher

From Opus

MalePhoto © by the late Jim WoodCosta Rica, November 2008
Photo © by the late Jim Wood
Costa Rica, November 2008
Chloroceryle aenea


[edit] Identification

13 cm (5 in)

  • Oily green upperparts
  • Yellow-orange collar
  • Rufous underparts
  • White belly

Female: has a narrow green breast band
Young birds resemble the adults, but have paler rufous underparts, no breast band, and speckled wings and flanks.

FemalePhoto © by rkaCacandee, Trinidad, 2007
Photo © by rka
Cacandee, Trinidad, 2007

[edit] Distribution

Central and South America
Central America: Mexico, Veracruz, Oaxaca, Tabasco, Chiapas, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Trinidad
South America: Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay

[edit] Taxonomy

[edit] Subspecies

This is a polytipic species consisting of 2 subspecies[1]:

  • C. a. stictoptera :
  • C. a. aenea:

[edit] Habitat

Small woodland streams, rivers and pools. Also in mangroves and wetlands

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Diet

Their main diet consists of small fish, tadpoles and small frogs. They will also eat some insects such as damselflies.

[edit] Breeding

The unlined nest is in a horizontal tunnel usually into a river bank; sometimes into an earth mound or termite nest. Three or four white eggs are laid.

[edit] Vocalisation

Call: a weak tik or stony cht cht.

[edit] References

  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
  2. Avibase
  3. Woodall, P.F. (2019). American Pygmy-kingfisher (Chloroceryle aenea). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 2 August 2019).

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