Most beautiful small birds - Sykalo Eugen 2024

Javan Kingfisher (Halcyon cyanoventris)


  • Species name: Javan Kingfisher
  • Scientific name: Halcyon cyanoventris
  • Family: Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
  • Order: Coraciiformes (Rollers, kingfishers, bee-eaters)
  • Subclass: Neornithes (Modern birds)
  • Class: Aves (Birds)


  • Size: Medium-sized kingfisher, about 25-27 cm (10-11 in) long with a wingspan of 34-36 cm (13-14 in).
  • Body shape: Stocky and compact, with a large head, a short neck, and a short tail.
  • Plumage color:

Males: Brilliant turquoise head, neck, and upperparts, contrasting beautifully with their rich chestnut throat and chest. Vivid white wing patches flash on the inner wings during flight.

Females: Similar to males but duller overall, with less defined chestnut on the chest.

Massive, bright red beak, powerful and hooked.

Dark red legs.

Dark brown eyes.


  • Method of feeding: Perches on exposed branches or wires, watching for prey (mostly fish, insects, and small reptiles) below. Dives into water or snatches prey from vegetation with lightning speed.
  • Reproduction: Nests in tree cavities or burrows in banks. Lays 2-4 white eggs. Both parents care for the young.
  • Movement: Resident in most of its range, with some local movements in response to food availability.
  • Communication: High-pitched, piercing calls, often described as a laughing scream. Both males and females call.


  • Habitat: Lowland and foothill forests, mangroves, rivers, streams, lakes, rice paddies, and open fields. Often found near water.
  • Diet: Mainly fish, insects, small reptiles, frogs, and crustaceans.
  • Hunting methods: Perches and scans for prey below, then dives with remarkable accuracy to catch it with its powerful beak. May also hunt insects on the ground or glean them from leaves.

Distribution: Endemic to the Indonesian islands of Java and Bali.

Javan Kingfisher

The Javan Kingfisher - a feathered emerald flashing across the vibrant rainforests of Java and Sumatra! This dazzling resident might appear like a simple jewel of the trees at first glance, but beneath its turquoise plumage and piercing gaze lies a treasure trove of surprising facts and adaptations that will transform this forest sentinel into a captivating avian acrobat and champion predator in your eyes.

Masters of the Perch-and-Pounce: Forget clumsy hops; Javan Kingfishers reign supreme in the art of aerial ambush. They perch motionless on high branches, their keen eyes scanning the forest floor for unsuspecting prey. Then, with a lightning-fast dive and acrobatic precision, they plummet like feathered rockets, snatching insects and small fish mid-air before returning to their emerald throne. Imagine them as feathered snipers with built-in miniature jetpacks!

Hidden Feasting Technique: Don't underestimate their hunting prowess! Javan Kingfishers are expert carnivores, utilizing their long, dagger-like bills to spear insects, lizards, and even small snakes from the forest floor and shallow waters. They even beat their prey against branches to soften them up - talk about feathered butchers with built-in miniature jackhammers!

Unexpected Nest Architects: Their nests are more than just twigs and leaves. Javan Kingfishers excavate burrows in steep riverbanks and embankments, creating cozy chambers for their chicks. These feathered miners utilize their powerful bills and feet to carve out homes in the earth, proving they're as skilled underground as they are in the air.

Singing with Sass: Their calls aren't just chirps and whistles. Javan Kingfishers possess a loud and piercing repertoire of calls, including territorial shrieks, courtship whistles, and even mimicry of other birds. Imagine them as feathered sirens with built-in miniature alarm systems, keeping the rainforest buzzing with their vocal prowess!

Symbiotic Symphony: Javan Kingfishers play a vital role in the rainforest ecosystem. By controlling insect and small animal populations, they help maintain a healthy balance in the food chain, contributing to the thriving tapestry of life in the dense undergrowth. These feathered pest controllers are crucial threads in the web of rainforest biodiversity.

Cultural Charmers: In Javanese and Sumatran cultures, the Javan Kingfisher is associated with strength, vigilance, and the power of the natural world. Its striking plumage and piercing gaze inspire awe and respect, making it a treasured symbol of the region's resilient ecosystems and vibrant biodiversity.

Unexpected Regional Variations: Did you know? Not all Javan Kingfishers are the same! Different populations across the islands boast subtle variations in plumage color and call patterns, adding a touch of feathered diversity to this adaptable species.