Crested Kingfisher: The Feathered Majesty of Mountain Rivers


The Crested Kingfisher is a rare and captivating bird often spotted along mountain rivers and in the foothills of northern India, Bangladesh, northern Indochina, Southeast Asia, and Japan. Renowned for its striking black and white plumage and distinctive shaggy crest, this bird has captivated the hearts of many a bird lover. Despite its grandeur, the Crested Kingfisher is elusive and challenging to spot, making it a treasure for ornithologists and birdwatchers.


Serial NumberCharacteristicsDescription
1Common nameCrested Kingfisher
2Scientific nameMegaceryle lugubris
3ColourBlack and White
4Average length41-43 cm
5Average height41-43 cm
6Type of birdKingfisher
7Found in India in statesHimalayan Range, Uttarakhand
8HabitatMountain rivers and foothills
9IUCN StatusData Deficient

Features of the Bird


The Crested Kingfisher is a large bird with an average length of 41 to 43 cm. The bird’s image name often features it perched on branches overhanging bird sanctuaries and mountain rivers. The bird is a perfect subject for those looking to capture bird photos.


Measuring vertically, the Crested Kingfisher matches its length, standing at about 41-43 cm. Given its dimensions, it’s no surprise that it captures the attention of many bird lovers and photographers in birdlife sanctuaries. This height makes it one of the giant kingfishers and an iconic bird picture to capture.

Running Speed

The Crested Kingfisher primarily depends on its flying capabilities rather than running speed. However, it’s agile enough to maneuver swiftly in search of food. For anyone who enjoys bird flying, this is a must-see species.


The Crested Kingfisher sports an elegant black and white coat. Its plumage is beautiful and provides effective camouflage in its native bird sanctuaries. The distinctive black-and-white color pattern is always a hit in bird photos.

Habitat and Food of the Bird

  1. Habitat: This bird resides primarily in mountain rivers and foothills, particularly in the Himalayas and northern India.
  1. Food: It mainly feeds on small fish, making it a frequent sight around rivers and streams.
  1. Bird sanctuaries: These kingfishers are also known to frequent bird sanctuaries, making them accessible for birdwatching.
  1. Bird Migration: The Crested Kingfisher is generally a resident bird and does not typically engage in long-distance bird migration.
  1. Bird Shops Near Me: Although you won’t find this exotic bird in a bird shop near me, it’s a sought-after sighting for birdwatchers.

Nesting and Nurturing

The bird nest of the Crested Kingfisher is a burrow dug into a vertical bank, which can be by a stream, a ravine, or even up to 1.5 km away from water. Both sexes participate in digging the burrow using their feet and bills. The female incubates a clutch of 4-7 eggs, which hatch in about 40 days. Both parents diligently feed the nestlings during this time, making it a perfect birdhouse setup for their young.


The bird’s PNG images often make it to bird shops, but capturing this majestic bird can have dire consequences. Habitat destruction and pollution are among the primary threats facing this kingfisher. This has led many bird lovers to focus on conservation efforts to preserve its natural environment.

IUCN Status and Conservation

While the Crested Kingfisher’s IUCN status is data deficient, the bird is the subject of numerous conservation efforts. Birdlife sanctuaries are particularly vital in preserving their habitat. The bird shops near me may not feature this bird, but conservationists are working to ensure that future generations can still find it in the wild.


With its striking appearance and unique habitat, the Crested Kingfisher is a gem in the avian world. Whether you’re a bird lover, a photographer, or someone who merely appreciates wildlife’s complexity and beauty, this kingfisher will surely enchant you. Keep an eye out for it on your next visit to a bird sanctuary, and you may capture the perfect bird picture.

More info about Crested Kingfisher – Link

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