White Throated Kingfisher

White Throated Kingfisher

White Throated Kingfisher, is a tree kingfisher widely found in the Asian Continent like from Indian Subcontinent to the Philippines. This bird has a distinguishable white patch on the throat and the chest with a bright blue back with a long beak. Due to the white patch on the chest and throat, they are called as the White Throated Kingfisher.

White Throated Kingfisher


This bird is a large kingfisher about 28 cm long. The bird has body colored in bright blue from back to tail and wings but their heads lower belly and flanks are in the reddish shade of brown like chestnuts. Their beaks are about 6-7 cm long and red in color. Adult birds weigh 65.5 to 81 grams. Juvenile birds are generally less brilliantly-colored with duskier bills and less brown on the wings. Young individuals may also sport a shoulder mark with extensive blue edging. During flight, the wingspan is about 113 to 129mm

White Throated Kingfisher


White-throated kingfishers range from Turkey in the west to the Philippines in the east, including Indian Peninsula and Asian Countries. This is a common species for the variety of habitats but mostly in open country in plains with trees, wires or other perches. The range of the species is expanding.

This kingfisher is widespread and populations are not threatened.

Feeding and Diet:

They mainly hunt fishes, insects, earthworm and small birds to fed their hunger. The young are fed mostly on invertebrates.

While hunting along the water, they prey on crabs, amphibians (frogs) and reptiles (skinks, lizards). On land, they hunt large insects and arthropods (grasshoppers, beetles, termites, scorpions, centipedes). They beat these against their perch to kill and remove venomous stings. They even take small mammals (rats, mice, voles), snakes up to 65cm long, and nestling birds.

White Throated Kingfisher


The white-throated kingfisher begins breeding at the onset of the Monsoons. Males perch on prominent high posts in their territory and call in the early morning. The tail may be flicked now and in its courtship display, the wings are stiffly flicked open for a second or two exposing the white wing mirrors. They also raise their bill high and display the white throat and front. The female in invitation makes a rapid and prolonged kit-kit-kit… call. The nest is a tunnel (50 cms long, but a nest with a 3-foot tunnel has been noted) in an earth bank. The nest building begins with both birds flying into a suitable mud wall until an indentation is made where they can find a perch hold. They subsequently perch and continue digging the nest with their bills. Nest tunnels in a haystack have also been recorded. A single clutch of 4-7 round white eggs is typical. The eggs take 20–22 days to hatch while the chicks fledge in 19 days.

Facts About White Throated Kingfisher

  • Kingdom:  Animalia
  • Phylum:     Chordata
  • Class:          Aves
  • Order:        Coraciiformes
  • Family:      Halcyonida
  • Genus:        Halcyon
  • Species:     H. smyrnensis
  • Size:            About 28 cm
  • Weight:      65.5 to 81 grams
  • Wingspan: 113mm to 129mm