Thai National Parks

Birds of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Oriental dwarf kingfisher

Ceyx erithaca, Carolus Linnaeus, 1758

(In Thai: นกกะเต็นน้อยสามนิ้ว)

The Oriental dwarf kingfisher (Ceyx erithaca), also known as the black-backed kingfisher or three-toed kingfisher, is a species of bird in the family Alcedinidae. A widespread resident of lowland forest, it is 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, Thailand and Viet Nam.

This is a small, red and yellow kingfisher, averaging 13 cm in length, yellow underparts with glowing bluish-black upperparts.


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 four or five 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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Category / Seasonal Status

BCST Category: Recorded in an apparently wild state within the last 50 years

BCST Seasonal statuses:

  • Resident or presumed resident
  • Non-breeding visitor

Scientific classification

Ceyx erithaca

Common names

  • Thai: นกกะเต็นน้อยสามนิ้ว


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

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Range Map

Distribution map of Oriental dwarf kingfisher, Ceyx erithaca in Thailand
Range map of Ceyx erithaca in Thailand