Thai National Parks

Birds of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Stork-billed kingfisher

Thai: นกกะเต็นใหญ่ธรรมดา, nok kraten yai thammadaa

Binomial name: Pelargopsis capensis, Carolus Linnaeus, 1766

The stork-billed kingfisher (Pelargopsis capensis) (formerly Halcyon capensis), is a tree kingfisher which is widely but sparsely distributed in the tropical Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, from India to Indonesia. This kingfisher is essentially resident throughout its range.

This is a very large kingfisher, measuring 35 to 38 cm in length. The adult has a green back, blue wings and tail, and grey head. Its underparts and neck are buff. The very large bill and legs are bright red. The flight of the stork-billed kingfisher is laboured and flapping, but direct. Sexes are similar. There are 15 races, mostly differing in plumage detail, but P. c. gigantea of the Sulu Islands has a white head, neck and underparts. The call of this noisy kingfisher is a low and far reaching peer-por-por repeated every 5 seconds or so as well cackling ke-ke-ke-ke-ke-ke.

Stork-billed kingfisher is a species of a variety of well-wooded habitats near lakes, rivers or coasts. It perches quietly whilst seeking food, and is often inconspicuous despite its size. It is territorial and will chase away eagles and other large predators. This species hunts fish, frogs, crabs, rodents and young birds.

Stork-billed kingfisher digs its nest in a river bank, decaying tree, or a tree termite nest. A clutch of two to five round white eggs is typical.

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Scientific classification

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Aves
Order
Coraciiformes
Family
Halcyonidae
Genus
Pelargopsis
Species
Pelargopsis capensis

Common names

  • Thai: นกกะเต็นใหญ่ธรรมดา, nok kraten yai thammadaa

Synonyms

  • Halcyon capensis

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Distribution map of Stork-billed kingfisher, Pelargopsis capensis in Thailand
  • Amphawa District, Samut Songkhram
  • Ban Laem District, Phetchaburi
  • Ban Pho District, Chachoengsao
  • Bang Pa In District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
  • Bang Phra Non-hunting Area
  • Bangkok Province
  • Chaiyo District, Ang Thong
  • Chiang Dao Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Doi Inthanon National Park
  • Doi Pha Hom Pok National Park
  • Hala-Bala Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Kaeng Krachan National Park
  • Kamphaeng Saen District, Nakhon Pathom
  • Khao Laem National Park
  • Khao Luang National Park
  • Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park
  • Khao Sok National Park
  • Khao Yai National Park
  • Khao Yoi District, Phetchaburi
  • Khlong Luang District, Pathum Thani
  • Khlong Saeng Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Khuan Khanun District, Phatthalung
  • Khung Kraben Non-hunting Area
  • Kui Buri National Park
  • Laem Ngop District, Trat
  • Laem Pak Bia
  • Mu Ko Chang National Park
  • Mueang Khon Kaen District, Khon Kaen
  • Mueang Krabi District, Krabi
  • Mueang Nonthaburi District, Nonthaburi
  • Mueang Pathum Thani District, Pathum Thani
  • Mueang Pattani District, Pattani
  • Mueang Phetchaburi District, Phetchaburi
  • Mueang Samut Sakhon District, Samut Sakhon
  • Mueang Satun District, Satun
  • Mueang Suphanburi District, Suphan Buri
  • Mueang Surat Thani District, Surat Thani
  • Nam Nao National Park
  • Nong Suea District, Pathum Thani
  • Pak Kret District, Nonthaburi
  • Pak Phanang District, Nakhon Si Thammarat
  • Pak Thale
  • Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
  • Phu Chong Na Yoi National Park
  • Phunphin District, Surat Thani
  • Phutthamonthon District, Nakhon Pathom
  • Sai Yok District, Kanchanaburi
  • Salak Pra Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Samut Prakan Province
  • Sangkhla Buri District, Kanchanaburi
  • Si Satchanalai District, Sukhothai
  • Sri Nakarin Dam National Park
  • Su-ngai Kolok District, Narathiwat
  • Takua Pa District, Phang Nga
  • Tha Sala District, Nakhon Si Thammarat
  • Tha Yang District, Phetchaburi
  • Thanyaburi District, Pathum Thani
  • Wang Nam Yen District, Sa Kaeo
  • Wat Phai Lom & Wat Ampu Wararam Non-hunting Area

Range map of Pelargopsis capensis 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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