Family Kingfishers (Alcedinidae)

Least Concern

Sulawesi Lilac Kingfisher (Cittura cyanotis)


French: Martin-chasseur oreillard German: Blauohrliest Spanish: Martín cazador de Célebes
Other common names: Lilac-cheeked Kingfisher, Lilac Kingfisher (when lumped with C. sanghirensis)

Dacelo cyanotis


, 1824,

Sumatra; error = Sulawesi


Hitherto regarded as conspecific with C. sanghirensis. Validity of race modesta often questioned; may be inseparable from nominate. Two subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. c. cyanotis (Temminck, 1824) – N Sulawesi and Lembeh I.
  • C. c. modesta Stresemann, 1938 – SC & SE 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. Male nominate race has pale... read more


    Very rapid “ku-ku-ku-ku”, repeated every few minutes; 3–4 descending, fairly high... read more


    Primary and tall secondary lowland forest and drier hill forest, including small remnants and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Large insects, including mantises (Mantodea), cicadas (Cicadidae), grasshoppers (Orthoptera), leafhoppers (Cicadelloidea), and beetles (... read more


    Little known. In mid-Oct, pair seen in forest at dawn, presumed male apparently displaying from horizontal perch 2 m above ground, slowly... read more


    Presumably sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Sulawesi EBA. Patchily distributed and generally uncommon in Sulawesi, but moderately common in N; relatively... read more

    Recommended citation

    Woodall, P.F. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Sulawesi Lilac Kingfisher (Cittura cyanotis). 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 October 2019).