Family Kingfishers (Alcedinidae)

Least Concern

Rufous-bellied Kookaburra (Dacelo gaudichaud)


French: Martin-chasseur de Gaudichaud German: Rotbauchliest Spanish: Cucaburra ventrirrufa

Dacelo Gaudichaud

Quoy and Gaimard

, 1824,



Possibly the ancestral form of the genus Dacelo. Has in the past been placed with D. tyro in genus Sauromarptis. Monotypic.


Gebe I (N Moluccas), W Papuan Is (Waigeo, Batanta, Salawati, Misool), lowlands of New Guinea (including Kolepom I), along with islands in Geelvink Bay (Mios Num, Yapen), Aru Is, and Heath Is (Sariba) in Milne Bay.

Descriptive notes

28–31 cm; male 110–161 g, female 138–170 g. Large, distinctively marked kingfisher. Male has white stripe behind eye, glossy black cap and back separated by... read more


Common calls are a loud, repeated “tok” or “chok”, a very rapid “tok-... read more


Mainly in lower canopy of monsoon and riverine forest, but also in primary rainforest, floodplain-... read more

Food and feeding

Arthropods, including grasshoppers and locusts (Orthoptera), stick-insects (Phasmida), beetles (Coleoptera), larvae, earthworms (... read more


Most breeding activity in late dry and early wet seasons; nest excavation reported in mid-Aug and Sept, but also in May–Jun; eggs... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Widely distributed in New Guinea, and common in suitable habitat. Occurs in Wasur National Park, Irian Jaya. Density of 1 bird/ha recorded. No... read more

Recommended citation

Woodall, P.F. (2020). Rufous-bellied Kookaburra (Dacelo gaudichaud). 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 24 February 2020).