Grey-headed Kingfisher ( Halcyon leucocephala, family: Dacelonidae)

Birds & Birding in the Kruger National Park South Africa. In Roberts 6 this bird was called Grey-hooded Kingfisher

grey headed kingfisher kruger national park birds The Grey-headed Kingfisher (Latin name Halcyon leucocephala) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 436 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 177 also a picture of the Grey-headed Kingfisher on page 193. The Grey-headed Kingfisher belongs to the family of birds classified as Dacelonidae. According to the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology the Grey-headed Kingfisher is also known by these other names: Chestnut-bellied Kingfisher.

In the previous edition of Roberts (ie 6th edition) the Grey-headed Kingfisher was called the Grey-hooded Kingfisher

The map of the Kruger you see on this page shows the areas (coloured orange) where this bird has been identified. The basic information was provided by the Avian Demographic Unit based at UCT and I created the maps from that information ... the green dots show the locations of the various Kruger National Park Rest Camps

The Grey-headed Kingfisher is neither Endemic or near Endemic to the Kruger National Park.

In terms of distribution of the Grey-headed Kingfisher in the Kruger National Park you may not see it in all areas. Grey-headed Kingfisher : see above distribution map.

The Grey-headed Kingfisher.

Identification assistance for this avian species ...

The Grey-headed Kingfisher is a smallish bird but somewhat larger than a house sparrow. The height of the Grey-headed Kingfisher is about 22 cms and its weight is about 45 gms

The male and female Grey-headed Kingfisher have the same plumage and colours

  • Head is grey.
  • Eye is brown.
  • Bill is carmine.
  • Throat is white.
  • Back is black.
  • Legs are red.

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The Grey-headed Kingfisher feeds on the ground, and on the wing mainly


Aquatic life forms

Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The Grey-headed Kingfisher is monogamous unless its mate dies. In the event of a partner dying Halcyon leucocephala will seek out a new mate

The nesting habit of Grey-headed Kingfisher is to create the nest on water or a hole in the ground. The bird lays eggs which are white in colour and number between 3 to 4

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for Grey-headed Kingfisher are: woodlands

You will not see Grey-headed Kingfisher in flocks. The bird prefers to act singly or in pairs.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Unknown

Zulu ... Unknown

Afrikaans ...Gryskopvisvanger

German ... Graukopfliest

Portuguese ... Pica-peixe-de-barrete-cinzento

French ... Martin-chasseur tte grise

Dutch ... Grijskopijsvogel

First bird in list | Previous bird viewed | Next KNP bird | Last bird in list

For in-depth birding information please refer to these authoritative avian references ...

Robert's 7th edition number ... 436

The main reference source for this data was "Roberts - Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition" . Other references were "Newmans Birds of the Kruger Park" by Keith Newman published circa 1980 . Names in foreign languages were obtained from the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town website ,