Family Kingfishers (Alcedinidae)

Least Concern

Buff-breasted Paradise-kingfisher (Tanysiptera sylvia)


French: Martin-chasseur sylvain German: Blaukappen-Paradiesliest Spanish: Alción colilargo silvia

Tanysiptera sylvia


, 1850,

Cape York Peninsula, Queensland, Australia


Sometimes (with preceding species) placed in genus Uralcyon. Usually considered conspecific with T. nigriceps. Non-breeding visitors to New Guinea described as race mira, but inseparable from nominate. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. s. salvadoriana E. P. Ramsay, 1879 – lowlands of SE New Guinea from Angabunga R to Kemp Welch R.
  • T. s. sylvia Gould, 1850 – NE Australia from Cape York S to Eurimbula (NE Queensland); migrates to lowlands of S & N New Guinea as far W as Setekwa R and E to Lakekamu Basin#R.
  • Descriptive notes

    29–37 cm, including tail-streamers; male 38–61 g, female 44–61 g. Both sexes of nominate race have blue head, blackish eyeband, dark blue upperparts with... read more


    In Australia, piping call of 4–5 (up to 14) loud “chop” notes that become higher... read more


    Monsoon forest, and lowland, notophyll vine and hill forest, usually with tall understorey and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Wide variety of invertebrates, from beetles (Coleoptera), grasshoppers (Orthoptera), mantises (Mantodea), katydids (Phaneropterinae),... read more


    Laying dates Feb in mainland Papua New Guinea, and Nov–Feb in Queensland. Nest excavated by both adults, generally in termitarium on... read more


    Breeding population in New Guinea probably resident. Nominate race in Queensland migrates to New... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Locally common in parts of its range, scarce or absent in others. Density of eight pairs in 8 ha recorded at Innisfail, on NE Queensland coast, and a... read more

    Recommended citation

    Woodall, P.F. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Buff-breasted Paradise-kingfisher (Tanysiptera sylvia). 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).