Family Kingfishers (Alcedinidae)


North Philippine Dwarf-kingfisher (Ceyx melanurus)


French: Martin-pêcheur flamboyant German: Goldzwergfischer Spanish: Martín pigmeo de Luzón
Other common names: Philippine Dwarf-kingfisher (when lumped with C. mindanensis)

Alcedo melanura


, 1848,



Closely related to C. erithaca (see that species). Hitherto considered conspecific with C. mindanensis. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. m. melanurus (Kaup, 1848) – Luzon, Polillo, Alabat and Catanduanes (N Philippines); possibly this race recorded on Tablas.
  • C. m. samarensis Steere, 1890 – Samar and Leyte (EC Philippines).
  • Descriptive notes

    12 cm; 16·4 g. Tiny kingfisher with three toes. Both sexes of nominate race possess blue-and-white neck mark, lilac-rufous head and upperparts, black wings and inner... read more


    High-pitched insect-like squeak, rendered “zeeep”, almost inaudible.


    Dense primary forest, also secondary forest; from coast to 750 m, with a single record from 1050 m... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects and larvae, also small crabs. Feeding technique not described, but usually perches 1·5–3 m above ground.


    Specimens with enlarged gonads in May from Samar and in Apr from Luzon. Immatures recorded in Jul and Dec. No other information available. read more


    Presumably sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    VULNERABLE. Population thought to number 10,000–20,000 birds and considered to be declining. Scarce or rare, but possibly under-recorded owing to its secretive habits.... read more

    Recommended citation

    Woodall, P.F. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). North Philippine Dwarf-kingfisher (Ceyx melanurus). 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 22 November 2019).