French: Martin-pêcheur à demi-collier German: Kobalteisvogel Spanish: Martín pescador cobalto
Great Fish River, South Africa
Subspecies and Distribution
A. s. heuglini
Laubmann, 1925 – Eritrea, Ethiopia and adjacent SE Sudan.
A. s. tephria
Clancey, 1951 – NW, NE & S Tanzania to S Angola, NE Namibia, E Botswana, Zimbabwe and C Mozambique; rare breeding records from Kenya.
A. s. semitorquata
Swainson, 1823 – S Mozambique and E & S South Africa.
18 cm; 35–40 g. Male black lores with small buff line above, bright cobalt-blue head banded with black, particularly rich blue on ear-coverts and hindneck, white... read more
High-pitched “tseep” given in flight, and “sip-ip-ip-ip-peep” in alarm; song a thin “tsip-tsip-... read more
Slow-flowing channels through reedbeds, woodland streams, fast-flowing perennial rivers and streams... read more
Food and feeding
Small fish (Alestes, Tilapia, Barbus) 3–7 cm long, also crabs, frogs, aquatic insects and larvae (Odonata... read more
Lays in Jan–May, mainly Oct, in Tanzania; in Feb–Mar, Jun and Aug–Oct in Zambia; in Jul–Mar, mainly Sept–Oct... read more
Mainly resident, but some seasonal movements; Feb–Aug visitor to Begemdir and Simien... read more
Status and conservation
Not globally threatened. Widespread, in a range of habitats, and locally common. Requires at least 1 km of river territory when breeding. Has declined on the Natal coast of... read more
Only subscribers are able to see the bibliography. Login or Subscribe to get access to a lot of extra features!