Kingfishers and Allies

Kingfishers and Allies Photographed in Forest, Garden and Water Habitat

Order Coraciiformes includes the kingfishers (Alcedinidae)1 family together with the bee-eaters (Meropidae) and rollers (Coraciidae). I’ve also included the hornbills (Bucerotidae) family from the Bucerotiformes2 order.

The first gallery displays images of tree, river and water kingfishers photographed in tropical forest, woodland, garden, swamp and lake habitats while the second gallery features kingfisher allies and hornbills that mainly inhabit forests.


Kingfisher Notes

All kingfisher species featured in the gallery are currently ‘Red List’ assessed as ‘Least Concern’. I’ve photographed these species in Australia, Malaysia, Singapore and Trinidad.

The kingfishers (Alcedinidae) family is one of my favourite cosmopolitan bird species to photograph. Singapore has eight kingfishers: five tree (Halcyoninae) and three River (Alcedininae) species. The gallery includes four tree and two river kingfisher images.

Australia has thirteen species of kingfisher, although three species are rare or accidental.  Gallery images feature an endemic laughing kookaburra, a blue-winged kookaburra and a forest kingfisher from the tree (Halcyoninae) subfamily together an azure kingfisher and little kingfisher from the river (Alcedininae) subfamily that I photographed in the Northern Territories.

The gallery also includes two images of water (Cerylinae) kingfisher that I photographed in Trinidad.

Kingfisher Allies

Kingfisher Allies Notes

All the kingfisher allies featured in the gallery are currently Red List assessed as ‘Least Concern’.

I’ve photographed the featured species in Australia, Malaysia and Singapore. The featured blue-throated and blue-tailed occur in South East Asia while the rainbow bee-eater occurs in Australasia and the oriental dollarbird in Asia and Australasia.

Singapore bird checklists include three species of hornbill: Oriental pied hornbill (ssp convexus), the black hornbill and the great hornbill, the latter two are rare/accidental. Oriental pied hornbill became locally extinct in Singapore in the nineteenth century. Pulau Urbin seems to have has a few individuals with a pair sighted in 1994. Singapore’s NParks and Jurong Bird Park has re-introduced the oriental pied hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris convexus) back into the successfully released birds into the wild at Bukit Timah in 2008 and Pulau Urbin in 2013. There are now over 100 hornbills all over Singapore. My first photographic recording of ssp convexus was on Pulau Ubin back in 2011, before the re-wilding release, so I’ve included an image of the bird foraging in my behaviours image gallery.


1 I follow HBW/BirdLife Taxonomic Checklist which list all kingfishes under the Alcedinidae family comprised of three monophyletic clades (subfamilies): Alcedininae, Halcyoninae and Cerylinae. Halcyoninae is also known as Daceloninae. Some taxonomists (such as Sibley and Monroe 1990) elevate these subfamilies to family rank, Alcedinidae, Halcyonidae and Cerylidae.

2 Separation of hornbills and hoopoes from the Coraciiformes as the Order Bucerotiformes maintains monophyly of Coraciiformes. Order Bucerotiformes placed in core landbirds as sister to Coraciiformes and Piciformes. Ref: Gill, F & D Donsker (Eds). (2019). IOC World Bird List (v9.1). doi:  10.14344/IOC.ML.9.1. [online] Available from: [Accessed 7th June 2019].