Family Kingfishers (Alcedinidae)

Near Threatened

Blyth's Kingfisher (Alcedo hercules)


French: Martin-pêcheur de Blyth German: Herkuleseisvogel Spanish: Martín pescador hércules

Alcedo hercules


, 1917,

Darjeeling, India


Sometimes referred to as A. grandis, but this name is preoccupied and therefore invalid. May be closest to A. meninting#R. Monotypic.


E Nepal E to Myanmar and S China (Yunnan, Guangxi, Guangdong, Hainan) and S to Laos and C Vietnam.

Descriptive notes

22–23 cm. Male head feathers black with glossy bright blue tips, black lores with buffy streak above, buffy-white neck patch; mantle to uppertail-coverts brilliant... read more


In flight “pseet”, louder and less shrill than that of A. atthis.


Streams and small rivers in deep ravines, hilly country and evergreen forest; also possibly on... read more

Food and feeding

Mainly fish, but insect remains found in nest-burrows. From low, concealed perch in bushes overhanging water, it dives in for a fish and... read more


Lays in Mar–Jun, mainly Apr–May, in NE India. Nest in bank of forest stream or vertical face of forest ravine; tunnel straight... read more


Presumably sedentary.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. Previously considered Vulnerable. Recent reports from much of its range, but in low densities. Total population... read more

Recommended citation

Woodall, P.F. (2019). Blyth's Kingfisher (Alcedo hercules). 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 17 November 2019).