Brown-headed paradise kingfisher

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Brown-headed paradise kingfisher
Brown-headed Paradise-Kingfisher.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Coraciiformes
Family: Alcedinidae
Subfamily: Halcyoninae
Genus: Tanysiptera
Species: T. danae
Binomial name
Tanysiptera danae
Sharpe, 1880

The brown-headed paradise kingfisher (Tanysiptera danae), also known as the russet paradise kingfisher, is a species of bird in the family Alcedinidae. It is endemic to the lowland forest in south east Papua New Guinea. Its natural habitats are temperate forests and subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests. Like all paradise kingfishers this bird has colourful plumage with a red bill and distinctive long tail streamers.


The first formal description of the brown-headed paradise kingfisher was by the English ornithologist Richard Bowdler Sharpe in 1880 from specimens collected near Milne Bay in southeastern New Guinea. He coined the current binomial name Tanysiptera danae.[2] The genus Tanysiptera had been introduced by the Irish zoologist Nicholas Aylward Vigors in 1825.[3] The name Tanysiptera is from classical Greek tanusipteros meaning "long-feathered". The specific epithet danae is from Greek mythology; Danaë was the daughter of Acrisius, King of Argos.[4] The species is monotypic.[5]


The brown-headed kingfisher is 23 cm (9.1 in) in length excluding the streamers which are up to 9 cm (3.5 in). The sexes are alike. The head, mantle and scapulars are a warm rufous-brown. The rump, breast and belly are pink-red. The flight feathers are black and the greater coverts are bright blue. The tail is dark purplish blue, the bill is red and the legs and feet are pink or orange.[6]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Tanysiptera danae". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ Sharpe, Richard Bowdler (1880). "Description of two remarkable new species of kingfishers". Annals and Magazine of Natural History. 5th series. 6: 231–232 [231].
  3. ^ Vigors, Nicholas Aylward (1825). "Observations on the natural affinities that connect the orders and families of birds". Transactions of the Linnean Society of London. 14 (3): 395–517 [433].
  4. ^ Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London, United Kingdom: Christopher Helm. pp. 130, 379. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  5. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David, eds. (2017). "Rollers, ground rollers & kingfishers". World Bird List Version 7.2. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  6. ^ Fry, C. Hilary; Fry, Kathie; Harris, Alan (1992). "Brown Header Paradise Kingfisher". Kingfishers, Bee-eaters, and Rollers. London: Christopher Helm. pp. 121–122. ISBN 978-0-7136-8028-7.