Family Kingfishers (Alcedinidae)

Least Concern

Striped Kingfisher (Halcyon chelicuti)


French: Martin-chasseur strié German: Streifenliest Spanish: Alción estriado

Alaudo [sic] Chelicuti


, 1814,

Chelicut, Ethiopia


Previously placed in monospecific genus Chelicutia. Races intergrade; a certain amount of geographical variation in dorsal coloration seems insufficient to warrant recognition of proposed races hylobia (W DRCongo, NW Angola) and damarensis (S Angola E to Mozambique and N South Africa). Two subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • H. c. eremogiton E. J. O. Hartert, 1921 – Sahel zone from SC Mali and N Nigeria E to C Sudan.
  • H. c. chelicuti (Stanley, 1814) – extreme S Mauritania and Senegal E to Eritrea and NW & S Somalia, S to NE & E Namibia, Botswana and N & NE South Africa (KwaZulu-Natal).
  • Descriptive notes

    17 cm; male 30–41 g, female 37–50 g. A small woodland kingfisher. Male nominate race white line above forehead, heavily brown-streaked crown, black eyeband,... read more


    Loud, high-pitched “keep-kirrrrr” or “pee-hee”, 1·2 seconds long,... read more


    Woodland, wooded grassland, and thornbush, from sea-level to 2300 m; avoids forest, and found only... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects, mainly grasshoppers (Orthoptera), also beetles (Coleoptera), larvae, butterflies, moths and caterpillars, mantises (Mantodea),... read more


    Lays in Jun–Sept in Senegal, in Jun–Jul in Gambia, in Sept–Oct in Mali, in Mar–Apr in Nigeria, and in Jan–Oct... read more


    Most populations apparently sedentary, but local movements reported from several localities. No... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Widely distributed, and common to fairly common in most of range. Able to thrive in quite open habitat and around cultivated lands, provided these... read more

    Recommended citation

    Woodall, P.F. (2020). Striped Kingfisher (Halcyon chelicuti). 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 25 February 2020).