Kingfishers

Alcedinidae

Both the Azure and Little Kingfishers feed on small fish, insects and crustaceans. They are both found in well-vegetated riverine areas, swamps and mangroves. The Azure Kingfisher Ceyx azureus is found in Australia’s north and east (mainland) and in Tasmania, while the Little Kingfisher Ceyx pusillus is confined to the north and north-east. Of the remaining eleven species that have been recorded in Australia, two are endemic, the Red-backed Kingfisher Todiramphus pyrrhopygius and Laughing Kookaburra Dacelo novaeguineae, while six are shared with New Guinea and sometimes other Pacific islands, namely the Yellow-billed Kingfisher Syma torotoro, Forest Kingfisher T. macleayii, Collared Kingfisher T. chloris, Sacred Kingfisher T. sanctus, Buff-breasted Paradise-Kingfisher Tanysiptera sylvia and Blue-winged Kookaburra Dacelo leachii . A further three species are recorded only as vagrants.

Buff-breasted Paradise-Kingfisher

Tanysiptera sylvia Between mid-October and early November this beautiful kingfisher arrives in Australia from New Guinea to breed, and indeed several pairs nest within the grounds of Kingfisher Park, within hollows in termite mounds on the ground. Eggs are typically laid in December and the young birds typically fledge by early March. Its blue, black and white upperparts, orange-buff breast and...

Forest Kingfisher

Todiramphus macleayii Usually seen sitting motionless on an open branch or telegraph wire, the Forest Kingfisher is easily identified by its deep, royal blue head and upper-parts and striking white underparts. Male birds have a broad white collar. Birds in eastern Australia are more turquoise and have a smaller white wing spot. A harsh repetitive ‘t’ reek t’ reek’ can be heard throughout the bre...

Laughing Kookaburra

Instantly recognisable in both plumage and voice, the Laughing Kookaburra Is the NSW bird emblem. It occurs throughout eastern Australia and the extreme south-west of WA, and inhabits most areas where there are suitable trees. The chuckling "koo-koo-koo-koo-koo-kaa-kaa-kaa" is a familiar sound throughout its range. It also has a shorter “koooaa”.  In the central north and north-west of Australia it i...

Yellow-billed Kingfisher

Syma torotoro This is a small kingfisher, with orange head neck and underparts, olive-black back and wings, and bright blue tail. The female is distinguishable from the male be her black crown. Immatures are similar to the adults but paler, with a black eye patch that extends into a stripe behind the eye, black stripe on the upper mandible, and have black flecking through the orange plumage. Juveniles...