White Breasted Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis)

Swarnava/ January 9, 2017/ Uncategorized



White-breasted Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis)

Mainly found in Asia, the White-breasted Kingfisher is a tree Kingfisher. It is also referred to as White-throated Kingfisher, and Smyrna Kingfisher. ”Sadabuk machhranga” is what it is known as in Bengali.

birds of Ventral Park, Birds of Kolkata, Birds of Bengal, Kingfishers of Central park Kolkata, white-breasted Kingfisher of Central Park, Kolkata

White-breasted Kingfisher

Where could you spot the White-throated Kingfisher in Kolkata?

The White-breasted Kingfisher could be spotted at many of the birding locations especially where there is a waterbody nearby in Kolkata such as Central Park, Rabindra Sarobar, Chintamoni Kar Bird Sanctuary, and Santragachi Jheel.

When should you photograph the White-breasted Kingfisher?

Mornings are the ideal time to photograph the White-breasted Kingfisher. If you wish to take a diving shot of the bird, what I suggest is to locate the bird near a waterbody; it might dive quite a few times. Although a satisfactory diving shot of the bird is rare; even if it is not a masterpiece, you could use it for record.

Photographing the bird, characteristics, breeding and the necessary details:

The White-breasted Kingfisher is a large species of 28 cm in length. The adult has a bright blue back, wings and tail. Its head, shoulders, flanks and lower belly are chestnut, and the throat and breast are white. The large bill and legs are bright red.

The flight of the White-throated Kingfisher is rapid and direct, the short rounded wings whirring. In flight, large white patches are visible on the blue and black wings.

Males and females look alike, but juveniles are a duller version of the adult.

The white-breasted Kingfisher excavates the tunnel into the bank of a river to breed, into which they lay their eggs. Their diet includes insects, lizards, and amphibians as well as fish. Their nest is a tunnel which they build by digging into a river bank.

White-breasted Kingfisher call: ke keek kek kek kek kek

Since the White-breasted Kingfisher is the most common Kingfisher of this region, I have photographed the bird every time I visited Central Park, Kolkta.The other two Kingfishers that you could spot in this region is the Common Kingfisher and Stork – billed Kingfisher. It is easy to locate the bird due to its blue coloured body and distinctive calls.


  • It is very common and can be approached easily with some caution
  • The bird can be found mostly near the waterbody
  • A min of 70-300mm lens is suggested


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About swarnava

Passionate in wildlife photography, I am presently pursuing a Bachelor of Design in Fashion Communication from NIFT Kolkata, India.