Family Kingfishers (Alcedinidae)

Least Concern

Dimorphic Dwarf-kingfisher (Ceyx margarethae)


French: Martin-pêcheur de Margarete German: Philippinenzwergfischer Spanish: Martín pigmeo dimorfo

Ceyx margarethae

A. W. H. Blasius

, 1890,



Until recently considered a race of C. lepidus (which see), but molecular analysis suggests species status#R and this is supported by morphological evidence: present species differs from all other taxa formerly grouped under C. lepidus in its orange vs blue/black malar stripe (3); unique representation as two morphs, one the palest and brightest in the group, the other the richest and unspotted cobalt-blue (3); blue of upperparts much more strongly present on wing-coverts (2). Form described as Ceyx goodfellowi, once considered a full species, subsequently shown to be variant of present species. Monotypic.


C & S Philippines: Banton, Tablas, Romblon, Sibuyan, Semirara, Negros, Cebu, Olango, Siquijor, Camiguin Sur, Mindanao, Basilan, Malamaui, and Sulu Archipelago (Jolo, Tawitawi and Bongao).

Descriptive notes

14·5 cm; 15·7–23 g. Small, forest-based kingfisher, with considerable individual variation in upperparts coloration (sometimes treated as pale and dark morphs). Adult has... read more


Only known vocalization is a high-pitched metallic “pe-teeeet pe-teeeet”, given while perched.


Primary and secondary forest in the lowlands to at least 1000 m; usually perches low in the... read more

Food and feeding

Diet apparently largely unrecorded, although small fish remains and insect parts have been found in stomach contents. Foraging behaviour... read more


No information, but birds with enlarged gonads recorded in Apr and Jun, and juveniles collected Aug–Oct.



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Generally considered to be uncommon; had been thought to be extinct on Cebu, but was recently rediscovered there. Population has not been quanitified... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Dimorphic Dwarf-kingfisher (Ceyx margarethae). 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).