Family Kingfishers (Alcedinidae)

Least Concern

Madagascar Kingfisher (Corythornis vintsioides)


French: Martin-pêcheur vintsi German: Malegassenzwergfischer Spanish: Martín pescador malgache
Other common names: Malagasy Kingfisher, Madagascar Malachite Kingfisher

Alcedo Vintsioides

Eydoux and Gervais

, 1836,



Previously placed in Alcedo. Recent molecular studies indicate this species is part of the Corythornis lineage (see C. cristatus). Present species and C. cristatus appear to be sister-taxa, with C. leucogaster as sister to this pair#R. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. v. johannae R. Meinertzhagen, 1924 – Comoro Is.
  • C. v. vintsioides Eydoux & Gervais, 1836 – Madagascar.
  • Descriptive notes

    13 cm; male 16–21 g, female 18–22 g. Both sexes nominate race forehead and crown pale green-blue and banded with black; mantle, wings and tail deep ultramarine,... read more


    Shrill high-pitched “seek”, repeated rapidly in flight, or very shrill “treeeeee... read more


    Rivers, streams, lakes, swamps, estuaries, mangroves, coast and tidal pools; also paddyfields and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Small fish, frogs, marine and freshwater crustaceans, also aquatic and terrestrial insects, e.g. grasshoppers (Orthop­tera), bugs (... read more


    Lays in Sept–Apr in Madagascar and in Oct in Comoros. Both sexes excavate a tunnel 5 cm wide and 40 cm long, with nest-chamber at end... read more


    Probably sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Widely distributed and fairly common in Madagascar, occurring in a range of habitats. No apparent threats, and is present in several protected areas... read more

    Recommended citation

    Woodall, P.F. (2019). Madagascar Kingfisher (Corythornis vintsioides). 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).