Family Kingfishers (Alcedinidae)

Near Threatened

Black-headed Kingfisher (Actenoides capucinus)


French: Martin-chasseur capucin German: Schwarzkopfliest Spanish: Alción capuchino

Monachalcyon capucinus

A. B. Meyer and Wiglesworth

, 1896,

“Tonkean” [? = Togian Islands], East Sulawesi


Hitherto considered conspecific with A. monachus, but males differ on account of greenish-black vs rich blue head (in both cases darker on crown than on head sides) (3); dull green vs blue-green tail (2); slightly paler, more uniformly rufous-chestnut underparts (1); slightly larger size (tail showing largest difference; but n=7 combining the sexes; effect size 2.02; score 2); females have back and wings darker and browner (ns[at least 1]). These two species are occasionally placed in genus Dacelalcyon. Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

E, SE & S Sulawesi, including Butung I (where recently recorded#R).

Descriptive notes

31–32 cm. Large, heavy forest kingfisher with a greenish-black head, large bright red bill, white throat, uniform chestnut underparts and green upperparts; tail dull green.... read more


Apparently undescribed.


Occurs in dense primary and tall secondary lowland forest up to 900 m.

Food and feeding

Presumably very similar to A. monachus, albeit the latter species is also very little known.


Nothing known.


Presumably sedentary.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Sulawesi EBA. Population unknown, but suspected to be decreasing, with an... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Black-headed Kingfisher (Actenoides capucinus). 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 22 November 2019).