Family Kingfishers (Alcedinidae)

Near Threatened

Sangihe Lilac Kingfisher (Cittura sanghirensis)


French: Martin-chasseur des Sangir German: Violettohrliest Spanish: Martín cazador de las Sangihe

Cittura sanghirensis


, 1868,

Sangihe Islands


Hitherto considered conspecific with C. cyanotis, but differs on account of blue-black forehead (none in cyanotis) running back to broad (vs narrow) and blue-black (vs royal-blue) supercilium, broad (vs narrow) area under eye, blue-black (vs royal-blue) ear-coverts, and full black basal submoustachial and malar area (none in cyanotis), the supercilium topped with white flecks (pinkish line in cyanotis), the lower cheek and edge of black basal submoustachial also edged with white flecking (3); white (vs dirty buff) chin (ns[1]); strong glossy violet-lilac (pink-purple) lower ear-coverts, distal submoustachial area, neck sides and blurry-edged breastband vs pale silvery-pink lower ear-coverts, entire submoustachial area, neck sides and blurry-edged breastband (colour weakest on this last) (3); dorsal area more strongly foxy-rufous (continuing colour of crown) vs becoming drab brown (2); flight-feathers bluish-black vs brown-tinged dark grey (ns[1]); larger bill and longer wings (effect size for wing length 4.41; score 2). Monotypic.


Sangihe Is (Sangihe, Siau), off N Sulawesi.

Descriptive notes

28 cm. Distinctive, large forest kingfisher with brown crown, nape and back, purple-blue mask and upperwing-coverts, reddish-brown graduated tail. Compared to formerly... read more


Gives a slow, puppy-like “yap-yap”, also a plaintive, quivering, nasal wail, and series... read more


Inhabits primary and secondary lowland forest and drier hill forest, scrub, mixed plantations and... read more

Food and feeding

No known differences from C. cyanotis, but data are very few.


Nothing known.


Presumably sedentary.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Sangihe and Talaud EBA. Widespread and quite frequently encountered,... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Sangihe Lilac Kingfisher (Cittura sanghirensis). 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 February 2019).