Black-capped paradise kingfisher

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Black-capped paradise kingfisher
Tanysiptera nigriceps Sclater, 1877.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Coraciiformes
Family: Alcedinidae
Subfamily: Halcyoninae
Genus: Tanysiptera
T. nigriceps
Binomial name
Tanysiptera nigriceps

The black-capped paradise kingfisher (Tanysiptera nigriceps) or black-headed paradise kingfisher, is a bird in the tree kingfisher subfamily, Halcyoninae. It is native to several islands in the Bismarck Archipelago to the east of New Guinea. Like all paradise kingfishers, this bird has colourful plumage with a red bill and long distinctive tail streamers.


The first formal description of the black-capped paradise kingfisher was by the English lawyer and zoologist Philip Sclater in 1877. He coined the current binomial name Tanysiptera nigriceps. The genus Tanysiptera had been introduced by the Irish zoologist Nicholas Aylward Vigors in 1825.[2] The name Tanysiptera is from classical Greek tanusipteros meaning "long-feathered". The specific epithet nigriceps is from the Latin niger for "black" and -ceps for "head".[3] The black-capped paradise kingfisher has sometimes been considered as a subspecies as the buff-breasted paradise kingfisher (Tanysiptera sylvia).[4][5]

There are two subspecies:[6]


The black-capped paradise kingfisher is 35–48 cm (14–19 in) in overall length including the tail streamers and weighs from 43 to 74 g (1.5 to 2.6 oz). The sexes are alike. The adult of the nominate race has a black head, nape, ear-coverts and scapulars. The mantle, rump and two central tail feathers are white. The wings and outer tail feathers are blue. The underparts are a pale yellowish buff. The bill and feet are orange. The subspecies T. s. leucura differs only in having completely white tail feathers.[5]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Tanysiptera nigriceps". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 19 May 2017.
  2. ^ 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]. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.1823.tb00098.x.
  3. ^ Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London, United Kingdom: Christopher Helm. pp. 271, 379. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  4. ^ Fry, C. Hilary; Fry, Kathie; Harris, Alan (1992). "Buff-Breasted Paradise Kingfisher". Kingfishers, Bee-eaters, and Rollers. London: Christopher Helm. pp. 118–119. ISBN 978-0-7136-8028-7.
  5. ^ a b del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N.; Kirwan, G.M. "Black-headed Paradise-kingfisher (Tanysiptera nigriceps)". 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. Retrieved 19 May 2017.
  6. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David, eds. (2017). "Rollers, ground rollers & kingfishers". World Bird List Version 7.1. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 17 May 2017.

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