Friday, 12 November 2010

Chocolate-backed kingfisher

Halcyon badia
Photo by David Greyo (Oiseaux)

Common name:

Order Coraciiformes
Family Alcedinidae

This African species is present in sub-Saharan Africa, from the Central African Republic and Sudan in the north, down to Angola in the south, and west to Nigeria, Liberia and Guinea.

This medium-sized forest kingfisher has a wingspan of 20-22 cm.

Confined to forest and gallery forest, their main habitat are tropical and subtropical lowland moist forests. They can also be found in mountain moist forests, up to an altitude of 1500 m and occasionally in dry savanna.

They mostly hunt insects, particularly Orthoptera and Coleoptera. Also known to take mantids, earwigs, bugs, cicadas and even spiders.


This species breeds in July-November, during the rainy season. They nest on a hole in a tree, sometimes a hole excavated by woodpeckers. Usually lays 2 white eggs which are incubated by both parents.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
The chocolate-backed kingfisher is a common and wide spread species within its range and suitable habitats, thus not being threatened at present.

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