MundoAndino Home : Bolivia Guide at Mundo Andino

American Pygmy Kingfisher

The American Pygmy Kingfisher, Chloroceryle aenea, is a resident breeding bird which occurs in the American tropics from southern Mexico south through Central America to western Ecuador, and then around the northern Andes cordillera in the east to central Bolivia and central Brazil. The species occupies the entire Amazon Basin and the Tocantins River drainage adjacent in Para state Brazil. It also occurs on Trinidad.

This tiny kingfisher occurs in dense forests and mangroves along small streams or rivers with heavily vegetated banks. The unlined nest is in a horizontal tunnel up to 40 cm long made in a river bank, earth heap, or occasionally an arboreal termite nest. The female lays three, sometimes four, white eggs.

The American Pygmy Kingfisher is 13 cm long and weighs 18g. It has the typical kingfisher shape, with a short tail and long bill. It is oily green above, with a yellow-orange collar around the neck, rufous underparts and a white belly. The female has a narrow green breast band. Young birds resemble the adults, but have paler rufous underparts, no breast band, and speckled wings and flanks. It gives a weak tik or stony cht cht call.

There are two recognised subspecies of American Pygmy Kingfisher. The nominate southern C. a. aenea has two lines of white spots on the wings, and northern C. a. stictoptera has three or four lines of spots and a concealed white patch of feathers on the undertail. The two forms intergrade in central Costa Rica.

American Pygmy Kingfishers perch quietly on a low branch close to water before plunging in head first after small fish or tadpoles. They will also hawk for insects. They are quite tame, but easily overlooked as they sit silently amongst riverside branches.


Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern

External links

American Pygmy Kingfisher videos, photos & sounds on the Internet Bird Collection

Stamps (for El Salvador) with RangeMap

Photo; Article borderland-tours

American Pygmy Kingfisher photo gallery VIREO Photo-High Res

Didn't find what you were looking for.
Need more information for your travel research or homework?
Ask your questions at the forum about Birds of Bolivia or help others to find answers.

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

Disclaimer - Privacy Policy - 2009