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Green Kingfisher

The Green Kingfisher, Chloroceryle americana, is a resident breeding bird which occurs from southern Texas in the USA south through Central and South Americal to central Argentina.

This small kingfisher breeds by streams in forests or mangroves. The nest is in a horizontal tunnel up to a metre long made in a river bank. The female lays three, sometimes four, eggs.

The Green Kingfisher is long and weighs . It has the typical kingfisher shape, with a short tail and long bill. It is oily green above, with white markings on the wings and tail and a white collar around the neck.

Males have white underparts apart from a broad chestnut breast band and some green spotting on the flanks. Females have buff-white underparts with two green chest bands, the lower of which links to the green spotting along the sides of the belly.

Green Kingfishers are often seen perched on a low shaded branch close to water before plunging in head first after their fish prey. They also eat aquatic insects. These birds often give a pebbly rattling call.


Variation in this species is clinal. There are five subspecies:Fry, C Hilary, Kathie Fry and Alan Harris (1992) Kingfishers, bee-eaters and rollers Helm ISBN 0-7136-8028-8 pages 226-8

americana occupying northern South America east of the Andes, south to Bolivia and Brazil

mathewsii occupying the area south of americana, to north Argentina

hachisukai occurring from the southwestern United States to Mexico, where it merges into the next subspecies

septentrionalis occurring from Mexico to Venezuela, where it merges with americana

cabanisii occurring in north Chile and Peru into west Ecuador and Colombia, where it merges with americana

Birds occurring on Trinidad and Tobago, usually included in americana, have a larger and heavier bill than the mainland forms; these are sometimes separated as subspecies croteta.


File:Chloroceryle americana.jpg|Female in Tortuguero, Costa Rica

File:Chloroceryle americana - female.jpg| Female in Ibera wetlands, Argentina

File:Chloroceryle americana - male.jpg| Male in Ibera wetlands, Argentina

External links

Green Kingfisher videos on the Internet Bird Collection


Stamps with RangeMap

Green Kingfisher photo gallery VIREO

Photo-High Res; Article geometer—"Brazil Photos"

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Green Kingfisher

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