Family Kingfishers (Alcedinidae)

Least Concern

Mangrove Kingfisher (Halcyon senegaloides)


French: Martin-chasseur des mangroves German: Mangroveliest Spanish: Alción de manglar

Halcyon Senegaloides

A. Smith

, 1834,

near Port Natal (Durban), South Africa


Closely related to H. senegalensis. N populations sometimes considered to form a distinct race, ranivorus, but differences seem insufficient to warrant subspecific separation. Monotypic.


SC Somalia (middle to lower Shebelle Valley) S along coast, including offshore islands, to E South Africa (Great Kei R); generally within 20 km of coast, but 150 km inland on R Jubba (Somalia), and on R Zambezi to Mopeia (Mozambique). Inland records from Kruger National Park and elsewhere in South Africa not accepted, but recently an adult recorded repeatedly in E Zambia#R.

Descriptive notes

22 cm; 57–66 g. Both sexes grey-brown crown, black lores, greyish ear-coverts and hindneck, blue upperparts and tail, black wings with blue bases of flight-feathers;... read more


Raucous “tchi, tchi, tcha, tcha-tch-ch-ch-ch” lasting 6–7 seconds, accelerating... read more


Low-lying woodland and wooded rivers in open country, thornveld, deciduous and evergreen forest,... read more

Food and feeding

Crabs and prawns, fish, lizards, and insects. Perches quietly in a tree, flying to ground or water when prey sighted. A more frequent and... read more


Lays in Oct in Kenya, in Dec in Tanzania (Pemba I), and in Oct–Jan in South Africa. Treetop wing-spreading display like that of H... read more


Partial migrant; most leave the coast and mangroves in Sept–Oct and move inland to breed,... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Has a wide distribution, in a range of habitats. Common to locally common in most of range; uncommon and rather local in Somalia. South African... read more

Recommended citation

Woodall, P.F. (2019). Mangrove Kingfisher (Halcyon senegaloides). 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 15 December 2019).