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American Pygmy Kingfisher
X7 0
Male
Information
Range American tropics from southern Mexico south through Central America to western Ecuador, and then around the northern Andes cordillera in the east to central Bolivia and central Brazil.
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Coraciiformes
Family Alcedinidae
Cerylinae
Genus Chloroceryle
Species Chloroceryle aenea
Conservation Status
LCSpecies
Least Concern

The American pygmy kingfisher (Chloroceryle aenea), is a species of resident breeding water kingfisher which occurs in the American tropics from southern Mexico south through Central America to western Ecuador, and then around the northern Andes cordillera in the east to central Bolivia and central Brazil. The species occupies the entire Amazon basin and the Tocantins River drainage adjacent in Pará state Brazil. It also occurs on Trinidad.

This tiny kingfisher occurs in dense forests and mangroves along small streams or rivers with heavily vegetated banks. The unlined nest is in a horizontal tunnel up to 40 cm long made in a river bank, earth heap, or occasionally an arboreal termite nest. The female lays three, sometimes four, white eggs.

Chlaen

Female

The American pygmy kingfisher is 13 cm long and weighs 18g. It has the typical kingfisher shape, with a short tail and long bill. It is oily green above, with a yellow-orange collar around the neck, rufous underparts and a white belly. The female has a narrow green breast band. Young birds resemble the adults, but have paler rufous underparts, no breast band, and speckled wings and flanks. It gives a weak tik or stony cht cht call.

There are two recognised subspecies of American pygmy kingfisher. The nominate southern Chloroceryle aenea aenea has two lines of white spots on the wings, and northern Chloroceryle aenea stictoptera has three or four lines of spots and a concealed white patch of feathers on the undertail. The two forms intergrade in central Costa Rica.

American pygmy kingfishers perch quietly on a low branch close to water before plunging in head first after small fish or tadpoles. They will also hawk for insects. They are quite tame, but easily overlooked as they sit silently amongst riverside branches.

Subspecies

Two subspecies are currently recognized, including the nominate subspecies:

Image
Name
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Chloroceryle aenea aenea

(Pallas, 1764)

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Coracias aenea stictoptera

(Ridgway, 1884)

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