Amazon kingfisher

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Amazon kingfisher
Amazon Kingfisher.jpg
A male at Iberá Wetlands, Corrientes Province, Argentina
Chloroceryle amazona -Goiania, Goias, Brazil -female-8.jpg
A female at Goiânia, Goiás State, Brazil
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Coraciiformes
Family: Alcedinidae
Subfamily: Cerylinae
Genus: Chloroceryle
C. amazona
Binomial name
Chloroceryle amazona
(Latham, 1790)

The Amazon kingfisher (Chloroceryle amazona) is a resident breeding kingfisher in the lowlands of the American tropics from southern Mexico south through Central America to northern Argentina.


The first formal description of the Amazon kingfisher was by the English ornithologist John Latham in 1790 under the binomial name Alcedo amazona.[2][3] The current genus Chloroceryle was erected by Johann Jakob Kaup in 1848.[4] The species is monotypic.[5]


The Amazon kingfisher resembles the green kingfisher which shares its range, but it is much larger than its relative, and three to four times as heavy. It is 30 cm (12 in) in length and weighs 98–140 g (3.5–4.9 oz).[6] It has the typical kingfisher shape, with a short tail and long bill. It is oily green above, with a shaggy crest and a white collar around the neck. It lacks the white markings on the wings shown by green kingfisher.

Males have white underparts apart from a broad chestnut breast band and some green streaks on the flanks. Females have white underparts with green patches on the side of the chest and green flank streaks. Young birds resemble the adult female, but have white spots on the wings. These birds often give a harsh teck call. The rarely heard song, given from a tree top, is a whistled see see see see.

Habitat and behavior[edit]

This large kingfisher breeds by streams. The unlined nest is in a horizontal tunnel made in a river bank, and up to 1.6 m long and 10 cm wide. The female lays three, sometimes four, white eggs.

Amazon kingfishers are often seen perched on a branch or rock close to water before plunging in head first after their fish prey. They also feed on insects fish and amphibians. They are the most likely American green kingfisher to be seen on large rivers.



  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Chloroceryle amazona". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ Peters, James Lee, ed. (1945). Check-list of Birds of the World. Volume 5. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. p. 168.
  3. ^ Latham, John (1790). Index Ornithologicus, Sive Systema Ornithologiae: Complectens Avium Divisionem In Classes, Ordines, Genera, Species, Ipsarumque Varietates (in Latin). Volume 1. London: Leigh & Sotheby. p. 257.
  4. ^ Kaup, Johann Jakob (1848). "Die Familie der Eisvögel (Alcedidae)". Verhandlungen des Naturhistorischen Vereins für das Großherzogthum Hessen und Umgebung (in German). 2: 68. OCLC 183221382.
  5. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David, eds. (2017). "Rollers, ground rollers & kingfishers". World Bird List Version 7.2. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 28 May 2017.
  6. ^ Fry, C. Hilary; Fry, Kathie; Harris, Alan (1992). Kingfishers, Bee-eaters, and Rollers. London: Christopher Helm. pp. 228–229. ISBN 978-0-7136-8028-7.

External links[edit]