Thai National Parks

Birds of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Oriental dwarf kingfisher

Thai: นกกะเต็นน้อยสามนิ้ว, nok kraten noi saam niu

Binomial name: Ceyx erithaca, Carolus Linnaeus, 1758

The Oriental dwarf kingfisher (Ceyx erithaca) also known as the black-backed kingfisher or three-toed kingfisher is a species of bird in the Alcedinidae family.

This is a small, red and yellow kingfisher, averaging 13 cm in length, yellow underparts with glowing bluish-black upperparts. This is a widespread resident of lowland forest, endemic across much of the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. It is found in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

The preferred habitat is small streams in densely shaded forests. In the Konkan region of southwest India, it begins to breed with the onset of the Southwest Monsoon in June. The nest is a horizontal tunnel up to a metre in length. The clutch of 4-5 eggs hatches in 17 days with both the male and female incubating. The birds fledge after 20 days and a second brood may be raised if the first fails. The young are fed with geckos, skinks, crabs, snails, frogs, crickets and dragonflies. The rufous-backed kingfisher is sometimes considered a subspecies.

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Scientific classification

Ceyx erithaca

Common names

  • Thai: นกกะเต็นน้อยสามนิ้ว, nok kraten noi saam niu


  • Ceyx rufidorsa, Hugh Edwin Strickland (1847)
  • Ceyx erithacus, Carolus Linnaeus (1758)
  • Ceyx tridactylus
  • Ceyx microsoma

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Distribution map of Oriental dwarf kingfisher, Ceyx erithaca in Thailand

Range map of Ceyx erithaca in Thailand

Important note; our range maps are based on limited data we have collected. The data is not necessarily accurate or complete.

Special thanks to Ton Smits, Parinya Pawangkhanant, Ian Dugdale and many others for their contribution for range data.

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