The Elusive Majesty of the Blyth’s Kingfisher: A Comprehensive Guide


Imagine standing by a river in a tranquil evergreen forest, where the lush foliage provides a perfect backdrop for the birdlife sanctuary. Your eyes capture a flash of vibrant cobalt blue and rufous red. Before you can bird picture the scene, the elusive Blyth’s Kingfisher swoops down from a shrub close above the water, snatching a fish with its all-black beak. It returns to its hidden perch, exemplifying the serenity and the complexity of the bird sanctuary it calls home. This guide provides a detailed look at this mesmerizing kingfisher species as rare as beautiful.


Serial NumberCharacteristicsDescription
1Common nameBlyth’s Kingfisher
2Scientific nameAlcedo hercules
3ColourCobalt blue, rufous red, black
4Average length22-23 cm
5Average height10-13 cm (Vertical dimension)
6Type of birdRiverine / Forest
7Found in IndiaEastern Himalayas, rare in northeastern India
8HabitatRivers in evergreen forests
9IUCN StatusNear Threatened

Features of the Bird


The Blyth’s kingfisher is a remarkable specimen among the Alcedo kingfishers, boasting an average length of 22 to 23 cm. While this may seem modest compared to larger birds, it makes the Blyth’s Kingfisher the largest in its genus. The sizeable dimension endows it with an imposing presence, drawing bird lovers’ attention at first sight. This detail makes it a high-value target for a bird shop near me, although its elusive nature and conservation status make it a rare find. The bird image name ‘Blyth’s Kingfisher’ doesn’t do justice to the grandeur concealed in its size.


When measuring the vertical dimensions of the Blyth’s Kingfisher, the figures range from 10 to 13 cm. This bird nests in dimensions with enough height to comfortably accommodate its average vertical size. The bird’s height plays a significant role in its nesting habits, which is crucial information for any birdhouse designer aiming to create a nurturing environment for this species.

Running Speed

Although not known for its speed on the ground, the Blyth’s Kingfisher relies more on its flying and diving capabilities to catch prey. As far as bird flying goes, this species excels at swooping quickly to snatch fish from the water. Although they may not be the fastest runners, their quick aerial maneuverability ensures they excel in their natural birdlife sanctuary.


The vibrant colors of Blyth’s Kingfisher serve as a perfect bird PNG or bird photo for anyone fortunate enough to capture its image. The male is adorned with black feathering on its head, bright blue tips, and a rufous belly, making it an attractive subject for bird pictures. The female also shares these vivid hues but has a red base to her otherwise black beak.

Habitat and Food of the Bird

  1. Habitat: The primary habitat includes small rivers in evergreen forests, where birdlife thrives.
  1. Elevational Range: Between 400 and 1,200 m above sea level, extending to a minimum of 200 m.
  1. Geographical Distribution: Found in China, Vietnam, Myanmar, and rare in northeastern India.
  1. Food: Mainly feeds on fish and insects, which it catches by diving into water bodies.
  1. Behavior: Unlike other kingfishers, the Blyth’s prefers to dive from a shrub rather than an exposed vantage point.

Nesting and Nurturing

The bird nest of a Blyth’s Kingfisher is an architectural marvel located at the end of a tunnel in a muddy bank next to a river or a deep ravine. The tunnel extends, rises, and then descends to the chamber, which measures between 15 and 20 cm in width and 10 and 13 cm in height. Both parents are responsible for incubating four to six eggs. For bird lovers, observing the nurturing behavior of these birds is genuinely enlightening.


The Blyth’s Kingfisher faces numerous threats contributing to its ‘Near Threatened’ status. Habitat destruction, mainly due to deforestation and pollution of water bodies, is the primary concern. As the bird migration patterns of this species are not well-documented, they are particularly vulnerable to local environmental changes.

IUCN Status and Conservation

The Blyth’s Kingfisher is classified as ‘Near Threatened’ by the IUCN. Ongoing conservation efforts aim to establish more bird sanctuaries and birdlife sanctuary zones to protect this magnificent species. Public awareness campaigns and responsible eco-tourism are other strategies employed to secure the future of the Blyth’s Kingfisher.


The Blyth’s Kingfisher is not just another bird; it symbolizes the untouched and dwindling beauty of our planet’s bird sanctuary areas. Its striking colors and shy behavior make it a cherished find for any bird lover. As it hovers on the brink of becoming endangered, we owe it to future generations to protect this rare jewel of the avian world.

More info about Blyth’s Kingfisher – Link

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