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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 16, 2021

Mangrove Kingfisher: 15 Facts You Won't Believe!

Mangrove kingfisher facts contain information about how they perch on branches to see their prey.

Kingfishers are medium-sized and one of the most colorful birds of the world; it has 114 species. One of those includes mangrove kingfisher(Halcyon senegaloides). There are slight differences in identification between the description of bird population found in North and South, but not enough to regard it as a subspecies of the bird. It is closely related to Woodland Kingfisher (Halcyon senegalensis). Mangrove kingfisher belongs to the order Coraciiformes, family Alcedinidae, subfamily Halcyoninae, and genus Halcyon. Its scientific name is Halcyon senegaloides, described by Andrew Smith in 1834. This bird's distribution map range shows that it likes living and breeding in the mangroves, woodlands, and wooded rivers of East and South Africa. The mangrove kingfisher has a red-bill, has a grey head, a greyish-white body, and the wing has a black and turquoise blue tip and greyish-brown legs. The name mangrove kingfisher (Halcyon Senegaloides) also has a fascinating history behind it!

For more relatable content, check out these green heron facts and hamerkop facts for kids.

Mangrove Kingfisher Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a mangrove kingfisher?

Mangrove kingfisher (Halcyon senegaloides) is a bird species.

What class of animal does a mangrove kingfisher belong to?

Mangrove kingfisher (Halcyon senegaloides) belongs to class Aves (birds).

How many mangrove kingfishers are there in the world?

Although the total number of mangrove kingfisher birds of the world is unknown, it has been classified as Least Concern in the IUCN Red List.

Where does a mangrove kingfisher live?

As the name suggests, mangrove kingfisher (Halcyon senegaloides) lives in mangroves, woodlands, estuaries, and riverine areas. To breed, they move inland, away from the rivers and coast.

What is a mangrove kingfisher's habitat?

The description of mangrove kingfisher (Halcyon senegaloides) habitat is usually around 12 mi (20 km) inland. Still, they have been found as much as 62 mi (100 km) inland during the breeding season. They often nest in tree holes and termite nests.

Who do mangrove kingfishers live with?

Mangrove kingfishers are one of the birds of the world that do not flock, not with their own species, nor other species. They travel or forage in pairs or solitary.

How long does a mangrove kingfisher live?

Kingfishers live for 10-15 years in the wild. Their lifespan under managed care is unknown.

How do they reproduce?

Mangrove kingfishers are a monogamous species that breed with only one mate unless their mate dies; then, they'll choose another mate. The mangrove kingfisher female lays three white eggs. She is responsible for incubation, while the male brings food to the nest during the breeding season.

What is their conservation status?

The IUCNRed List has classified mangrove kingfisher (Halcyon senegaloides) as Least Concern.

Mangrove Kingfisher Fun Facts

What do mangrove kingfishers look like?

The mangrove kingfisher description is a medium-sized bird with a dark grey head, black-tipped red bill, and grey-ish white vermiculated breast and flanks. Their plumage is similar to the woodland kingfisher (Halcyon senegalensis), having black and turquoise blue covert and flight feathers, with a pack patch under the wings and greyish-brown legs. Mangrove kingfisher appearance in the south range have longer wings and a narrower bill. The juvenile bird is dull-colored and has a brown beak. Visually, mangrove kingfisher male and female are alike.

Mangrove kingfisher (Halcyon senegaloides) perched on a tree branch.

How cute are they?

The mangrove kingfisher (Halcyon senegaloides) appearance will awe you with its cuteness; a Southern African mangrove kingfisher flying will give a majestic view of its turquoise-blue wings that will leave you breathless.

How do they communicate?

Mangrove kingfishers are a loud bird species that start their song with a loud call followed by sounds that resemble a bouncing ball, unique to this species of birds of the world.

How big is a mangrove kingfisher?

Mangrove kingfishers are 8.7-9 in (22-23 cm) in length, which is the same size as golden oriole and one-fifth the size of a frigate bird.

How fast can a mangrove kingfisher fly?

Kingfishers have been recorded to usually flying low and fast above the water like a bullet at 25 mph (40 kph). To watch a mangrove kingfisher diving to catch its prey and such high speeds, unlike most birds of the world, is a sight to see.

How much does a mangrove kingfisher weigh?

The mangrove kingfisher (Halcyon senegaloides) species weighs a moderate 3 oz (85 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific terms to differentiate the male and female birds of this species. The two sexes look alike, making its identification hard, and can usually only be discerned by experts.

What would you call a baby mangrove kingfisher?

There is no specific term used to refer to a baby mangrove kingfisher; the young ones are broadly referred to as juveniles.

What do they eat?

The mangrove kingfisher diet consists of fish, crabs, prawns, lizards, and insects. This species of kingfishers can eat 12-18 small fish in a day.

Are they poisonous?

No, mangrove kingfisher (Halcyon senegaloides) belonging to order Coraciiformes are not poisonous animals.

Would they make a good pet?

No, they would not make for good pets as they are wild birds. We should leave them free in their natural habitat.

Did you know...

The mangrove kingfisher (Halcyon senegaloides) kingfisher species is partially migratory as it only migrates intra-country. Mangrove Kingfisher migration depends on the breeding season from October to January in the Eastern Cape. They leave the mangroves and estuaries to move farther inland to breed. Both the sexes of mangrove kingfishers help in rearing the young ones.

Mangrove kingfishers nest inside tree holes in mangroves, old nests of woodpeckers, and termitarium (termite nest). Their nests have been found in termitariums with live termite colonies.

This species of kingfishers are not known to have any subspecies. The slight physical differences found between mangrove kingfisher (Halcyon senegaloides) populations of the South and North distribution led to the Northern population being separated sometimes into subspecies ranivorus.

What's unique about the mangrove kingfisher?

According to Greek mythical history, Halcyon is a type of kingfisher bird that nests near the sea.

Halcyon was a Greek goddess, daughter of Aelous (God of the winds), and Halcyon was married to the mortal king Ceyx of Tachis. Once, when Ceyx had to go to Delphi to consult the oracle of Apollo, he chose to sail there, and on his way, a storm took his life, and he drowned. Before he drowned, Ceyx asked Poseidon (the sea god) to bring his body to his wife's arms.

Halcyon had asked Hera to ensure his safe trip, but it was too late; Morpheus (the god of dreams) appeared in Halcyon's dreams and informed her of the tragedy. Halcyon went to the coast o find Ceyx's body and threw herself into the oceanic waves.

Awestruck by her love for her husband, the gods saved her and transformed her into a seabird. They also turned Ceyx into a kingfisher to live together for the rest of their lives.

Unfortunately, the tragedy didn't end here. Zeus (King of Gods and the god of thunder) had instructed her to only lay eggs in the winter, but the harsh winter waves would wash away their nest near the shore where Ceyx's body was found. She cried and prayed for 14 days, after which Zeus granted her 14 days of good, calm weather in the middle of winter. This gave rise to the myth of Halcyon days, which is still celebrated in Greece.

Is the mangrove kingfisher endangered?

The mangrove kingfisher (Halcyon senegaloides) is considered Vulnerable in South Africa because of its isolated breeding population, threatened by habitat destruction. But, according to IUCN Red List, the species is categorized as Least Concern.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Australian Pelican facts and Reddish Egret facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Mangrove Kingfisher coloring pages.

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