Kingfishers (Alcedinidae)

Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) - HBW 6, p. 238

French: Martin-pêcheur d’Europe German: Eisvogel Spanish: Martín Pescador Común
Other common names: River(!)/European/Eurasian Kingfisher, Kingfisher

Taxonomy: Gracula Atthis Linnaeus, 1758, Egypt.
Forms a superspecies with A. semitorquata, with which formerly considered conspecific; also closely related to A. hercules, range of which overlaps in NE India and SE Asia. Populations in C Asia, Afghanistan and Kashmir sometimes separated as pallasii on basis of shorter bill and paler underparts, but they seem to fall within normal range of variation of nominate; proposed race japonica included within bengalensis. Seven subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • ispida Linnaeus, 1758 - S Norway, British Is and Spain (except S & E) E to W Russia and Romania; winters S to S Portugal, N Africa, Cyprus and Iraq.
  • atthis (Linnaeus, 1758) - NW Africa and S & E Spain E to Bulgaria, Afghanistan, NW India, C Siberia and NW China; winters S to Egypt, NE Sudan, Oman and Pakistan.
  • bengalensis J. F. Gmelin, 1788 - C India E to SE Asia, S & E China (including Hainan), SE Siberia, E Mongolia and Japan; winters S to Greater Sundas, N Sulawesi, Sula Is, N Moluccas and Philippines.

     See all 7 subspecies
  • ispida Linnaeus, 1758 - S Norway, British Is and Spain (except S & E) E to W Russia and Romania; winters S to S Portugal, N Africa, Cyprus and Iraq.
  • atthis (Linnaeus, 1758) - NW Africa and S & E Spain E to Bulgaria, Afghanistan, NW India, C Siberia and NW China; winters S to Egypt, NE Sudan, Oman and Pakistan.
  • bengalensis J. F. Gmelin, 1788 - C India E to SE Asia, S & E China (including Hainan), SE Siberia, E Mongolia and Japan; winters S to Greater Sundas, N Sulawesi, Sula Is, N Moluccas and Philippines.
  • taprobana Kleinschmidt, 1894 - India S of R Godavari, and Sri Lanka.
  • floresiana Sharpe, 1892 - Bali and Lesser Sundas E to Wetar and Timor.
  • hispidoides Lesson, 1837 - Sulawesi, Moluccas and W Papuan Is, and coastal E New Guinea from R Sepik and R Aroa to D’Entrecasteaux Is and Louisiade and Bismarck Archipelagos.
  • salomonensis Rothschild & Hartert, 1905 - Solomon Is (Buka and Bougainville E to San Cristobal).