Stork-billed Kingfisher (Pelargopsis capensis)
These three kingfishers were 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. Sexes are similar. The flight of the Pelargopsis kingfishers is flapping, but direct.
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. These species hunts crabs, fish, frogs, and in the case of stork-billed at least, rodents and young birds.
Pelargopsis kingfishers excavate their nests in a river bank, decaying tree, or a tree termite nest and lay round white eggs.
It contains the following species:
Brown-winged Kingfisher (Pearson, 1841) (Pelargopsis amauroptera) Stork-billed Kingfisher (Linnaeus, 1766) (Pelargopsis capensis) Great-billed Kingfisher (Temminck, 1826) (Pelargopsis melanorhyncha)