Crested kingfisher

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Crested kingfisher
Megaceryle lugubris, crop.jpg
Wiki-yamasemi-mesu, crop.jpg
Male and female M. lugubris subsp. pallida at Asahikawa city in Japan
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Coraciiformes
Family: Alcedinidae
Subfamily: Cerylinae
Genus: Megaceryle
Species: M. lugubris
Binomial name
Megaceryle lugubris
(Temminck, 1834)
Greater Pied Kingfisher.png
     approximate distribution

The crested kingfisher (Megaceryle lugubris) is a very large kingfisher that is native to parts of southern Asia, stretching eastwards from the Indian Subcontinent towards Japan. It forms a species complex with the other three Megaceryle species.[2]

Range and habitat[edit]

Crested Kingfisher
Crested Kingfisher, Himalyan Range, Uttarakhand, India

It is resident in the Himalayas and mountain foothills of northern India, Bangladesh, northern Indochina, Southeast Asia, Japan and Pacific Russia. This bird is mainly found in mountain rivers and larger rivers in the foothills of mountains.


It is a very large (41 cm) black and white kingfisher with evenly barred wings and tail. It lacks a supercilium and has a spotted breast, which is sometimes mixed with rufous.


A decline has been noted in northeastern China. Declines have been linked to habitat destruction.


There are four accepted races:[2]

  • M. l. continentalis (E.J.O.Hartert, 1900) – Himalayas, from Afghanistan to Bhutan
  • M. l. guttulata (Stejneger, 1892) – Bhutan to Vietnam, China and North Korea
  • M. l. pallida (Momiyama, 1927)Hokkaido, Japan
  • M. l. lugubris (Temminck, 1834)Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu, Japan


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Megaceryle lugubris". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Woodall, P. F. (2016). "Crested Kingfisher (Megaceryle lugubris)". Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. Retrieved 12 September 2016.