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Stork-billed Kingfisher, Pelargopsis capensis, นกกะเต็นใหญ่ธรรมดา

The Stork-billed Kingfisher (Pelargopsis 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 resident throughout its range.

It is a very large kingfisher, measuring 35 cm in length. The adult has a green back, blue wings and tail, and olive-brown 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 13 races or subspecies, differing mostly in plumage detail, but P. c. gigantea of the Sulu Archipelago in the Philippines has a white head, neck and underparts. The call of this noisy kingfisher is a low and far reaching peer-por-por repeated about every 5 seconds, as well cackling ke-ke-ke-ke-ke-ke.

Listen to the Stork-billed Kingfisher

The Stork-billed Kingfisher lives in 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.

Adults dig their nests in river banks, decaying trees, or tree termite nests. A clutch of two to five round white eggs is typical.

Stork-billed Kingfisher, Pelargopsis capensis, นกกะเต็นใหญ่ธรรมดา

Ornithological Portal
Range map from - Ornithological Portal is one of those MUST visit pages if you're in to bird watching. You can find just about everything there

Stork-billed Kingfisher, Pelargopsis capensis, นกกะเต็นใหญ่ธรรมดา
Pelargopsis capensis burmanica by Keulemans
By Keulemans and Bowdler Sharpe - Richard Bowdler Sharpe Family of Kingfishers, published from 1868 to 1871,
Public Domain,

The first formal description of the Stork-billed Kingfisher was by the Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus in 1766 in the 12th edition of his Systema Naturae. He coined the binomial name Alcedo capensis. Linnaeus based his description on Mathurin Jacques Brisson's "Le martin-pescheur du Cap de Bonne Espérance".

Brisson believed his specimen had come from the Cape of Good Hope region of South Africa. The species does not occur in Africa and it was suggested that the specimen had been obtained on the Indonesian island of Java.

The specimen is now known to have come from near Chandannagar in West Bengal, India. Linnaeus's specific epithet capensis denotes the Cape of Good Hope. The current genus Pelargopsis was introduced by the German zoologist Constantin Gloger in 1841.

Thirteen subspecies are recognised:

• P. c. capensis (Linnaeus, 1766) – Nepal through India to Sri Lanka

• P. c. osmastoni (Baker, ECS, 1934) – Andaman Islands

• P. c. intermedia Hume, 1874 – Nicobar Islands

• P. c. burmanica Sharpe, 1870 – Myanmar to Indochina and south to north Malay Peninsula

• P. c. malaccensis Sharpe, 1870 – central and south Malay Peninsula, Riau Archipelago and Lingga Islands

• P. c. cyanopteryx (Oberholser, 1909) – Sumatra, Bangka Island and Belitung Island

• P. c. simalurensis Richmond, 1903 – Simeulue Island (off the west coast of the island of Sumatra in Indonesia)

• P. c. sodalis Richmond, 1903 – Banyak, Nias, Batu and Mentawai Islands (off the west coast of Sumatra)

• P. c. innominata (van Oort, 1910) – Borneo

• P. c. javana (Boddaert, 1783) – Java

• P. c. floresiana Sharpe, 1870 – Bali to Flores (Lesser Sunda Islands)

• P. c. gouldi Sharpe, 1870 – north Philippines

• P. c. gigantea Walden, 1874 – central and south Philippines

The insular forms nesoeca on the Nias and Batu Islands as well as isoptera on Mentawai Island are here subsumed within sodalis. Prior to the change of type locality to Chandannagar, the birds in India were placed in the subspecies gurial but this race is now synonymized with the nominate race capensis.

Conservation status
Stork-billed Kingfisher, Pelargopsis capensis, นกกะเต็นใหญ่ธรรมดา
Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)
International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sighted: (Date of first photo that I could use) 1st of January 2016
Location: Suan Rot Fai/ Queen Sirikit Park, Bangkok

Thank's to Nick Upton at for HOT birding tip for the Bangkok area on his web page. Read his review by clicking HERE

Visit Nick Upton at for HOT birding tips for sites around Bangkok and Thailand. There are reviews of the birding sites with maps and information.

And if you like Nick Upton's web page you will also like I have used this page together with Nick Upton's page when planning my birding tours. Excellent reviews and information about the birding sites.

I also got the Thai names of the birds from There is a bird check list with all the names in English and Thai. And of course also the Scientific Name. Down load the birdlist in Microsoft Excel format at Or down load the Excel sheet by clicking HERE

PLEASE! As I'm a first time birdwatcher bear in mind that some of the bird can be wrongly named. I have bought book and I confirm on the internet to get the right identity on the birds I take pictures off. But there can still be mistakes.

Stork-billed Kingfisher, Pelargopsis capensis, นกกะเต็นใหญ่ธรรมดา
Stork-billed Kingfisher - นกกะเต็นใหญ่ธรรมดา - 1 January 2016 - Suan Rot Fai/ Queen Sirikit Park, Bangkok

PLEASE! If I have made any mistakes identifying any bird, PLEASE let me know on my guestbook


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