Common Paradise Kingfisher
Common Paradise-Kingfisher - Halmahera S4E4008
Common Name Galatea Paradise Kingfisher and Racquet-tailed Kingfisher
Range Papua New Guinea
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Coraciiformes
Family Alcedinidae
Genus Tanysiptera
Species Tanysiptera galatea
Conservation Status
Least Concern

The Common paradise kingfisher (Tanysiptera galatea), also known as the Galatea paradise kingfisher and the racquet-tailed kingfisher, is a species of tree kingfisher in the Alcedinidae family. It is found in Papua New Guinea. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests.


The bird is described in Alfred Russel Wallace's The Malay Archipelago (1869):

I also obtained one or two specimens of the fine racquet-tailed kingfisher of Amboyna, Tanysiptera nais, one of the most singular and beautiful of that beautiful family. These birds differ from all other kingfishers (which have usually short tails) by having the two middle tail-feathers immensely lengthened and very narrowly webbed, but terminated by a spoon shaped enlargement, as in the motmots and some of the humming-birds. They belong to that division of the family termed king-hunters, living chiefly on insects and small land-molluscs, which they dart down upon and pick up from the ground, just as a kingfisher picks a fish out of the water. They are confined to a very limited area, comprising the Moluccas, New Guinea, and Northern Australia. About ten species of these birds are now known, all much resembling each other, but yet sufficiently distinguishable in every locality. The Amboynese species, of which a very accurate representation is here given, is one of the largest and handsomest. It is full seventeen inches long to the tips of the tail-feathers; the bill is coral red, the under-surface pure white, the back and wings deep purple, while the shoulders, head and nape, and some spots on the upper part of the back and wings, are pure azure blue. The tail is white, with the feathers narrowly blue-edged, but the narrow part of the long feathers is rich blue. This was an entirely new species, and has been well named after an ocean goddess [a Naiad], by Mr. R. G. Gray.


The Common paradise kingfisher is similar to the Buff-breasted paradise kingfisher except its breast is white.

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