Family Kingfishers (Alcedinidae)


Guadalcanal Moustached Kingfisher (Actenoides excelsus)


French: Martin-chasseur de Guadalcanal German: Guadalcanal-Bartliest Spanish: Alción bigotudo de Guadalcanal

Halcyon bougainvillei excelsa


, 1941,

inland from Cape Hunter, 4000 feet [c. 1200 m], Guadalcanal


Present species and A. bougainvillei are geographically separated from congeners; may provide a link between Actenoides and Tanysiptera. Hitherto considered conspecific with A. bougainvillei, and status difficult to determine as known only from a single female; this, however, differs from female bougainvillei in its black moustachial and postocular line, latter forming much broader hindcollar (3); shorter rufous “cape” on mantle below hindcollar (15 mm vs 24 mm), albeit sample size small (ns [2]); black to greenish-black mantle, wing-coverts and wings vs greenish-rufous mantle and tertials and deep blue wings (3); flecks of electric blue-white down blackish rump vs broad electric turquoise line down royal-blue rump (3); underparts rufous-tinged buff vs rufous (ns[2]); bill and feet orange (label data: R. H. Beck) vs “Chinese red” (label data: A. H. Meek) (ns[1]). Monotypic.


Guadalcanal (S Solomons).

Descriptive notes

27–32 cm; female 160–215 g. Forest kingfisher known from very few sightings, just one specimen, and male plumage is undescribed. Adult female has rufous head with distinctive... read more


Vocalizes before dawn and after dusk: a loud, ringing series of “ko-ko-ko...” notes.


Apparently only occurs in closed-canopy forest at 900–1100 m and at least 1550 m, with occasional... read more

Food and feeding

Virtually nothing known.


Females with somewhat developed ovaries collected in Jul. Reported to nest in holes in the ground, sometimes in forest but usually in... read more


Unknown; presumably sedentary.

Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. Restricted-range species: present in Solomon Group EBA. Rare and restricted in both distribution and habitat. Crepuscular, possibly even nocturnal, habits,... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N., Kirwan, G.M. & Sharpe, C.J. (2020). Guadalcanal Moustached Kingfisher (Actenoides excelsus). 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 10 April 2020).