Family Kingfishers (Alcedinidae)

Least Concern

Black-faced Kingfisher (Lacedo melanops)


French: Martin-chasseur à face noire German: Schwarzgesichtliest Spanish: Martín cazador carinegro

Halcyon (Paralcyon) melanops


, 1850,



Hitherto considered conspecific with L. pulchella, but males differ on account of black vs chestnut-rufous submoustachial area, ear-coverts and neck sides, with mostly black vs chestnut-rufous forecrown (3); more black-mottled royal-blue crown, less clear-cut at front and rear; feather bases uniformly black vs grey with subterminal black and white spots (2); shorter tail (effect size 2.75; score 2). Monotypic.


Bangka I (off SE Sumatra) and Borneo.

Descriptive notes

20 cm; 50 g. A small kingfisher, barred above, which regularly raises and lowers crown feathers. Male has bright blue crown much some black and white banding and speckling,... read more


A high and mournful “tsi, tsi, tsi-swee, tsi-swee”, with increasing emphasis on the second syllable... read more


Inhabits lowland and hill dipterocarp, lower montane, freshwater swamp and peat-swamp forests,... read more

Food and feeding

No known differences from L. pulchella.


Very few data; female with brood patch in Apr and two newly hatched young in Feb, both records in Sarawak.


Presumably sedentary.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction, but has not been quantified. Known from several protected areas,... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Black-faced Kingfisher (Lacedo melanops). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 11 December 2019).