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Green Kingfisher

Silhouette KingfishersKingfishers
Green KingfisherChloroceryle americana
  • ORDER: Coraciiformes
  • FAMILY: Alcedinidae

Basic Description

In bright sunlight the Green Kingfisher sparkles like an emerald, but it is easy to overlook along dense, shaded streams where it forages for fish. It is a small, green-and-white kingfisher with an impressively large bill, and typically much less conspicuous than the noisy Belted Kingfisher. Females have two neat green bands across the breast; males have a contrasting rust-red chest. The Green Kingfisher barely makes it into the United States in southern Arizona and Texas, but its range extends south through South America, nearly to Patagonia.

More ID Info
image of range map for Green Kingfisher
Range map provided by Birds of the World
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Find This Bird

Searching for a Green Kingfisher can be an exercise in patience. Walk quietly along rivers, streams, and lake edges (including oxbow lakes or resacas) and listen for the quietly distinctive “ticking” call. Keep your eyes peeled for flashes of movement, as these birds often zip along stream courses as they switch between fishing perches. Scanning tree branches and snags that overhang the water may reveal a silent kingfisher.

Other Names

  • Martín Pescador Verde (Spanish)
  • Martin-pêcheur vert (French)
  • Cool Facts