Coraciiformes TAG

Coraciiformes Taxon Advisory Group -

Blue-breasted Kingfisher (Halcyon malimbica)
SSP Manager: Not a TAG Recommended Species

General Information



The blue-breasted kingfisher is the largest member of the genus Halcyon in Africa, measuring approximately ten inches (25cm) in length. The majority of the plumage is turquoise-blue with a black mask, back and shoulders. The crown is grey and the throat and abdomen are white. The upper mandible is bright red, while the lower mandible is black.






Blue-breasted kingfishers inhabit secondary forest, mangrove rainforest, dense woodlands growing along waterways in savanna country, and thick savanna woodlands dominated by Anogeissus leiocarpus trees. They prefer to remain in the deeply shaded areas in the lower canopies of trees, although they are irregularly seen in the high canopy.




Very few nests in the wild have been located and described, however those that have been are holes excavated into the sides of termitariums at a height of 6-10 meters. Four of these nests contained clutches and/or broods of two, however captive nests have yielded a maximum of five eggs with four eggs being regularly observed.


The majority of the diet consists of animal matter including invertebrates such as roaches, grasshoppers, termites, wasps, beetles, mantises, spiders, millipedes, whip-scorpions, crabs and molluscs. Mud-skippers, frogs, toads, lizards, and mice are also consumed. In addition, a highly sought after food by this and many other primarily carnivorous species (incuding some hawks and some insectivores) is the fruit of the oil-palm.

Blue-breasted Kingfisher Gallery

Blue-breasted kingfisher Nestling Development Gallery

Blue-breasted kingfisher Nestling Weight Gain Graph (Captive Parent-reared)

Blue-breasted kingfisher Nestling Weight Gain Graph (Captive Hand-reared)

Blue-breasted kingfisher Hand-rearing Information