Family Kingfishers (Alcedinidae)

Near Threatened

Brown-winged Kingfisher (Pelargopsis amauroptera)


French: Martin-chasseur à ailes brunes German: Braunflügelliest Spanish: Alción alipardo

Halcyon Amauropterus

J. T. Pearson

, 1841,

Calcutta, India


Species name sometimes given as amauropterus, but is Latinized Greek adjective and must agree with feminine genus name; claimed to be a noun in apposition, but no internal evidence for this. Monotypic.


E India (from N Odisha) E along coast and islands to Myanmar, then S, including Mergui Archipelago, to W coast of Thailand and to islands of NW Peninsular Malaysia.

Descriptive notes

35–37 cm; male 162 g. Large coastal kingfisher with large red bill. Both sexes pale orange head and underparts, dark brown back, wings and tail, brilliant blue rump;... read more


Call a harsh, cackling, repeated “chak-chak-chak-chak-chak”, also short, descending... read more


Mainly coastal, in mangroves, tidal forest, mudflats, estuaries and brackish creeks, and moves out... read more

Food and feeding

Crabs and fish. Prey are detected from perches in mangroves; catches crabs by flying down low to land on the mud and rapidly seize one;... read more


Lays in Mar–Apr in India. Nest in burrow dug into a mud bank or cliff by a creek, burrow 10 cm wide, 30–60 cm long, ending in... read more


Presumably chiefly sedentary, but reported to be only non-breeding visitor in parts of W range;... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. Widespread and locally common; rare in Orissa, but locally common in West Bengal and in Bangladesh; fairly... read more

Recommended citation

Woodall, P.F. (2019). Brown-winged Kingfisher (Pelargopsis amauroptera). 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 7 December 2019).