General Description

A royal blue head, neck, flanks and upperparts with a violet sheen. The throat is pale orange and underparts are reddish-orange. They have a distinctive orange stripe down each side of the neck and an orange spot in front of the eyes. They have a long pointed bill, red legs and feet and a short blue tail. The bill to tail length is up to 19 cm.


Azure Kingfishers are never far from the water. Their diet includes aquatic insects, fish, crustaceans and occasionally frogs. They hunt by diving into water from overhanging perches. They frequently perch above foraging platypuses and catch any prey that is disturbed. Captured prey is brought back to their perch where it is hit against the perch before being swallowed head first. Azure Kingfishers are monogamous and both parents incubate the eggs and feed the young. They dig a burrow up to 1 m long in a riverbank, laying five to seven eggs in the end chamber. Breeding territories are defended by breeding pairs. They can be difficult to see as they dart quickly across the water.


Indonesia and New Guinea. Northern and eastern mainland Australia and Tasmania.


Rivers, lakes, rainforests, swamps, mangroves, estuaries and urban areas.

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