Family Kingfishers (Alcedinidae)

Least Concern

Cerulean Kingfisher (Alcedo coerulescens)


French: Martin-pêcheur aigue-marine German: Türkiseisvogel Spanish: Martín pescador azulado
Other common names: Small Blue Kingfisher

Alcedo cœrulescens


, 1818,

Timor; error = Java


Recent study suggested that this species is closest to A. atthis, these two being sister to A. quadribrachys and A. semitorquata#R. Monotypic.


S Sumatra through Java, Kangean Is and Bali to Lombok and Sumbawa; recorded also on Flores.

Descriptive notes

13 cm. Male head and upperparts greyish azure-blue, white supraloral patch and neck patch, brilliant silvery-azure rump; white underparts, breast with well-marked azure-blue... read more


High-pitched, repeated “ti ti ti”, or 2-note “tew-tew” given in flight.


Streams, canals, ponds, swamps, tidal estuaries, mudflats, mangroves, fish ponds, flooded... read more

Food and feeding

Aquatic insects, crustaceans and small fish. Sits on a low perch overlooking water or mudflats, and dives into water for prey. Also takes... read more


Lays in Apr–Jun, Aug and Oct in Java. Only nest reported was an inclined tunnel, dug by both of pair, in a steep bank by a paddyfield... read more


Presumably sedentary, but single record in 1997 from Flores, where not found previously, may... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Widely distributed and common in many localities, as in Suwung Fishponds and Bali Barat National Park, Bali, and Baluran National Park and Pulau Dua... read more

Recommended citation

Woodall, P.F. (2019). Cerulean Kingfisher (Alcedo coerulescens). 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 13 December 2019).