Family Kingfishers (Alcedinidae)

Least Concern

Blue-eared Kingfisher (Alcedo meninting)


French: Martin-pêcheur méninting German: Menintingeisvogel Spanish: Martín pescador meninting

Alcedo Meninting


, 1821,



May be closest to A. hercules#R; closely related also to A. quadribrachys and A. semitorquata. Some uncertainty over races in S India: possibly only coltarti present there, with phillipsi confined to Sri Lanka. Race scintillans intergrades with verreauxii; latter often synonymized with nominate. Various other described races include laubmanni (E India), amadoni (Palawan), subviridis (Banyak Is, Nias I), callima (Batu Is) and proxima (Mentawai Is), but these considered not sufficiently distinct. Six subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. m. coltarti E. C. S. Baker, 1919 – along base of Himalayas from C Nepal to Assam and E India (N Eastern Ghats) E to Myanmar, Thailand and Indochina.
  • A. m. phillipsi E. C. S. Baker, 1927 – SW India (Western Ghats S from Goa) and Sri Lanka.
  • A. m. rufigastra Walden, 1873 – Andaman Is.
  • A. m. scintillans E. C. S. Baker, 1919 – S Myanmar (S Tenasserim) and N peninsular Thailand.
  • A. m. verreauxii De La Berge, 1851 – S peninsular Thailand and Malaysia S to Riau Archipelago, Bangka and Belitung, and E to Borneo, Palawan and Sulu Is.
  • A. m. meninting Horsfield, 1821 – Sumatra (including islands off W coast) and Java E to Lombok, also Sulawesi, Banggai Is and Sula Is.
  • Descriptive notes

    15·5–17 cm; 16–31 g. Male nominate race rufous frontal spot, white blaze on side of neck; head and neck ultramarine-blue, closely banded with darker blue;... read more


    Single, high-pitched note, “tjiet” or “trreee-tee”, like that of A. atthis but sharper and... read more


    Streams, creeks, channels and estuaries in evergreen and wet deciduous forest, bamboo-forest and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Fish, crustaceans, and insects and larvae, including dragonflies (Odonata). Perches near water, searching for prey with head bobbing and... read more


    Lays in Apr–Aug, mainly May–Jun, in N India, in Jun–Sept in Maharashtra, in Jan in Kerala, in Apr–Jul in... read more


    Sedentary; birds ringed at Selangor, in Peninsular Malaysia, were recaptured frequently up to 16... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Widespread, but seldom common. Occurs in many protected areas throughout range, as Chitwan National Park (Nepal), Kaziranga National... read more

    Recommended citation

    Woodall, P.F. (2019). Blue-eared Kingfisher (Alcedo meninting). 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 18 November 2019).