White collared kingfisher

White-Collared Kingfisher

Scientific Classification

Common Name
white-collared kingfisher
Genus Species
Todiramphus chloris

Fast Facts

White-collared kingfishers have a turquoise head and wings with a broad, white collar bordered by a narrow, black line. They have white chest feathers, black feet and bill. Males tend to have a slightly more blue tinge, while females tend to have a slightly more green tinge. Juvenile birds are duller in color with a broader black collar band and tiny black scallops across their breast.
22 to 29 cm (8.7 to 11.4 in.)
50 to 90 g (1.8 to 3.2 oz)
Fish, crabs and prawns, lizards, small snakes, insects, tadpoles, and earthworms
18 days
Clutch Size
2 to 5 eggs
Life Span
11 years
This species has an extremely large range and can be found in India, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Northern Australia, Papua New Guinea, and several islands in the Southeastern Pacific. They have also been spotted in Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
Open grasslands, shallow water, mudflats, and beaches
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is reported to be very widespread and common to abundant. The population appears to be decreasing but is not severely fragmented.
IUCN: Least Concern
CITES: No data
USFWS: No data

Fun Facts

These birds perform courtship flights and the male may offer the female small tokens. Both parents construct the nest, digging out a hole in dead trees or palms and sometimes take over woodpecker holes, or even burrowing into the active nests of ants and termites. The female begins incubating the clutch, and then the male takes over incubation later.

Kingfishers are perch-and-wait hunters, sitting on a branch, post, fence, mound or wire above the ground and waiting for their prey. When larger prey is caught, they pound it against the perch. They also hammer shells against stones to get at the mollusk or hermit crab inside. Sometimes, they will take prey from other birds.

White-collared kingfishers are reportedly aggressive towards their own kind as well as other kingfisher species.

Kingfishers' trademark blue coloring is not an actual pigment on the feathers. Rather there are layers within the feathers that reflect only blue wavelengths of light. So, as kingfishers fly, their color may change from blue to green.

Kingfishers use a variety of laughing calls from a quiet chuckle to a harsh, loud "kek-kek, kek-kek" to communicate.

Ecology and Conservation

The White-Collared Kingfisher is the most common kingfisher in Singapore. In the past, they were mostly found along the coasts and mangroves, but they have moved inland to hunt along freshwater wetlands, cultivated lands, gardens and parks.

This species is suspected to be declining locally owing to ongoing destruction of mangrove forests for development. Small island populations may also be at risk from habitat loss and natural events.


Bucknill, J. and Chasen, E. Birds of Singapore and Southast Asia. Tynron Press, 1990.

Sen, Yong Hoi (ed.), Singapore: Kingfishers and Woodpeckers. Didier Millet, 1998.

Seng, Lim Kim and Gardner, Dana. Birds: An Illustrated Field Guide to the Birds of Singapore. Sun Tree Publishing Ltd., 1997.

Strange, Morten. Tropical Birds of Malaysia and Singapore. Periplus Editions, 2000.


BirdLife International. 2016. Todiramphus chloris. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22683399A95211137. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22683399A95211137.en. Downloaded on 15 January 2019.

Photo Credit: WHITE_COLLARED_KINGFISHER_(7353034984). Jpg. Sources: Wikimedia Commons. Image by: ouatrok77. Year Created: 7 June 2012. Website: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:WHITE_COLLARED_KINGFISHER_(7353034984).jpg. License: CC by SA 2.0.