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14

Azure Kingfisher

(Ceyx [Alcedo] azurea)
Alternate name(s): "Blue Kingfisher", "Water Kingfisher", "River Kingfisher", "Purple Kingfisher"
Size: 17-19 cm
Weight: 25-50 g

Similar species

Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Azure Kingfisher at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Race "azurea"

ADULT

Full-frontal view of an adult Azure Kingfisher
[Near Barraba, NSW, September 2015]

Frontal view of an Azure Kingfisher with its head turned sideways (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Brookfield, Brisbane, QLD, December 2017]

Near-frontal view of an Azure Kingfisher with its head turned sideways (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Swan Reach, East Gippsland, VIC, August 2018]

Near-lateral view of an Azure Kingfisher (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Brookfield, Brisbane, QLD, December 2017]

Lateral view of an Azure Kingfisher (photo courtesy of I. Duncan)
[South West Rocks, NSW, September 2012]

Lateral view of an Azure Kingfisher (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Cape Tribulation, Daintree NP, QLD, March 2015]

Near-dorsal view of an Azure Kingfisher (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Mount Molloy, QLD, July 2018]

Near-dorsal view of an Azure Kingfisher (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Cape Tribulation, Daintree NP, QLD, March 2015]

Near-dorsal view of an Azure Kingfisher with its head turned sideways (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Swan Reach, East Gippsland, VIC, August 2018]

Dorsal view of an Azure Kingfisher (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Brookfield, Brisbane, QLD, December 2017]

Pair of Azure Kingfishers on their perch
[Near Barraba, NSW, September 2015]

Lateral view of an Azure Kingfisher in flight (photo courtesy of R. Druce)
[Near Moree, NSW, June 2012]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Lateral view of a juvenile Azure Kingfisher; note the white tip of the bill (photo courtesy of L. Scott)
[Kilcoy, QLD, December 2016]

This immature Azure Kingfisher is not only wet from a dive, but also moulting (photo courtesy of L. Scott)
[Kilcoy, QLD, December 2016]

Race "ruficollaris"

ADULT

Lateral view of an Azure Kingfisher perched characteristically in a shady spot low above water in a mangrove in an intertidal wetland (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Rapid Creek, Darwin, NT, October 2018]

Lateral view of an Azure Kingfisher; this is probably the bird whose calls were recorded on 18 August 2014
[Umbrawarra Gorge, NT, August 2014]

Near-dorsal view of an Azure Kingfisher (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Rapid Creek, Darwin, NT, October 2018]

Near-dorsal view of a pair of Azure Kingfishers (photo courtesy of M. Mearns)
[Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) NP, QLD, November 2012]

This Azure Kingfisher was found hunting in unusually open terrain (photos courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Horizontal Falls, Cyclone Creek, Talbot Bay, WA, April 2015]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Near-frontal view of a juvenile Azure Kingfisher; note the pale tip of the bill (photos courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Sandy Creek, Stuart Highway, NT, July 2018]

Near-frontal view of a juvenile Azure Kingfisher; note the pale tip of the bill and the still incomplete flight feathers
(photos courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Sandy Creek, Stuart Highway, NT, July 2018]

Breeding information

Breeding season: Oct - Dec Eggs: 4 - 6 Incubation period: ca. 21 days Fledging age: ?

Depending on geographic latitude and weather conditions, the breeding season can run from September to February. Numbers listed for the fledging age of young Azure Kingfishers range from about 3 weeks up to 5 weeks.

Nest building: ? Incubation: Female & male Dependent care: Female & male

Nest

"bungobittah", "malunna" = nest [Aboriginal]

Type: Tunnel Material: Bare soil Height above ground: N/A

Azure Kingfisher (race "azurea") coming out of the entrance of its nest in a river bank (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)
[Terry Hie Hie, NSW, November 2013]

Eggs

"boyanga", "booyanga", "derinya", "dirandil", "koomura", "ngampu", "nooluk", "pateena" = Egg; "dirundirri" = eggs [Aboriginal]; "gawu" = eggs [gamilaraay]

Size: 22 x 19 mm Colour: White Shape: Rounded

Behaviour

Social behaviour: Territorial? Mobility: Sedentary/partly migratory Elementary unit: Pair

Azure Kingfishers are known for their swift, straight flight very low above water. Once a bird was seen by us almost skimming the surface of a creek.

Food, Diet

Like other kingfishers, Azure Kingfishers prey on small fish and crustaceans, which they catch diving into water.

Call(s)/Song

For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

azkingf_20140818.mp3 ruficollaris
(Top End, NT)
Contact calls (male in flight) © MD

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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