Pelargopsis is a genus of tree kingfishers which are resident in tropical south Asia from India and Sri Lanka to Indonesia.

The species in taxonomic order are:

These three kingfishers wer previously placed in the genus Halcyon.


These are very large kingfishers, 35 cm in length.

They have very large red or black bills and bright red legs. The head and underparts of these species are white or buff, and the wings and back are darker, colored variously in green and blue, brown or black depending on species.

Males and females look alike.

The flight of the Pelargopsis kingfishers is flapping, but direct.

Great-billed Kingfisher


Pelargopsis kingfishers inhabit a variety of well-wooded habitats near lakes, rivers, estuaries or coasts. They perches quietly whilst seeking food, and are often inconspicuous despite their size. They are territorial and will chase away eagles and other large predators.

Diet / Feeding

This species hunts crabs, fish, frogs, and in the case of Stork-billed at least, rodents and young birds.

Breeding / Nesting

Pelargopsis kingfishers excavate their nests in a river bank, decaying tree, or a tree termite nest and lay round white eggs.


  • Fry, K and Fry, H.C.: Kingfishers, Bee-eaters and Rollers. ISBN 0-7136-8028-8
Kingfisher InformationKingfisher Species Photo Gallery
Brown-winged Kingfisher (Pelargopsis amauroptera)
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