Family Kingfishers (Alcedinidae)

Least Concern

North Solomons Dwarf-kingfisher (Ceyx meeki)


Taxonomy

French: Martin-pêcheur d’Isabel German: Bougainville-Zwergfischer Spanish: Martín pigmeo de Santa Isabel
Taxonomy:

Ceyx meeki

Rothschild

, 1901,

Santa Isabel, Solomon Islands

.

Until recently considered a race of C. lepidus (which see), but molecular analysis suggests species status#R and this is supported by morphological evidence: present species differs from all other taxa formerly grouped under Variable Dwarf-kingfisher in its relatively small size, intermediate between solitarius and all other taxa (probably score 1); markedly yellowish underparts (2); “pale yellow” to “yellow” (label data on all four specimens in NHMUK) vs coral-red feet (3 except against gentianus, which has pale orange feet [score 2] but also differs radically in upperpart and underpart colours); black of head and wings sparsely but strongly spangled turquoise-blue (3 except against C. cajeli, from which it differs in greener spangling extending onto malar area, bill colour and dorsal colour) (3). Recent molecular evidence#R suggests that form pallidus, which is so close in plumage to meeki that it was not accepted as a valid taxon in HBW, is genetically as distinct as other taxa in the exploded Variable Dwarf-kingfisher complex; given its weak morphological distinctiveness (slightly paler below than meeki), its proximity to range of meeki and the fact that only a single specimen was sampled in the molecular study, however, it is accepted here as a race. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. m. pallidus Mayr, 1936 – Buka and Bougainville (N Solomons).
  • C. m. meeki Rothschild, 1901 – Choiseul and Santa Isabel (C Solomons).
  • Descriptive notes

    14 cm. Small, forest-based kingfisher with three toes, dark blue above and pale buffish yellow below, with an all-dark bill and yellow legs and feet. Adult has blackish head... read more

    Voice

    A high-pitched whistle, usually given in flight, “tzzeep”, like other Melanesian members of the... read more

    Habitat

    Old-growth forest and dense secondary vegetation in lowlands and foothills; usually found in the... read more

    Food and feeding

    No information.

    Breeding

    Nothing known, beyond that the species lays in Jul–Sept on Bougainville (race pallidus).

    Movements

    Sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: endemic to Solomon group EBA. Fairly common in lowlands, but there is no overall population estimate and the population... read more

    Recommended citation

    del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). North Solomons Dwarf-kingfisher (Ceyx meeki). 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 https://www.hbw.com/node/467392 on 22 November 2019).