Meet the African Pigmy Kingfisher: Some say these tiny flying gems are the most beautiful members of their species!

A Tiny Multi-faceted Gem Of A Bird Resplendent In Shimmering Oranges, Reds, And Blues!


The African pygmy kingfisher (Ispidina picta) is a small kingfisher measuring a mere 11 – 13 cm in length, little more than that of a sparrow. They wear rufous underparts and a blue back which extends all the way down to the tail. A dark blue crown is what differentiates it from the adult African Dwarf-Kingfisher. Having an otherwise orange face, they also have purple cheek marks and a white throat.

Males and females look exactly the same.

Juvenile birds have less purple on their ear coverts and a black bill instead of orange.

This bird is found throughout many countries in the afro-tropical regions of the African continent.

These birds can be found throughout wooded areas, savanna and costel forests. Being an insectivorous kingfisher they are not bound to rivers or lakes.

As we mentioned African Dwarf Kingfisher are insectivorous birds, however, they will also dine on frogs and lizards if given the chance.

African Pygmy Kingfishers nest in burrows that are excavated by both sexes in banks or a termited nest. Around 30 to 60 cm (12 to 24 in) long, a clutch of up to four to six white eggs is laid within. Both the male and female care for the young once they have hatched.

This bird is regarded as of Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.

The adjacent island nation of Madagascar also has a species of pygmy kingfisher, the Madagascar pygmy kingfisher.

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