African Pygmy-Kingfisher ( Ispidina picta, family: Alcedinidae)

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

african pygmy kingfisher kruger national park birds The African Pygmy-Kingfisher (Latin name Ispidina picta) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 432 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 176 also a picture of the African Pygmy-Kingfisher on page 193. The African Pygmy-Kingfisher belongs to the family of birds classified as Alcedinidae.

In the previous edition of Roberts (ie 6th edition) the African Pygmy-Kingfisher was called the Pygmy 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 African Pygmy-Kingfisher is neither Endemic or near Endemic to the Kruger National Park.

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

Identification assistance for this avian species ...

One of the first indicators to take note of when trying to identify a bird is it relative size. For example how big is the bird compared to a well known familiar bird. The African Pygmy-Kingfisher is a small bird about the size of a house sparrow. Do not take this relative indicator as anything other than a rough easy to remember indicator. It is not a accurate visualization. The height of the African Pygmy-Kingfisher is about 13 cms and its weight is about 15 gms

The male and female African Pygmy-Kingfisher have the same plumage and colours

  • Head is blue.
  • Eye is brown.
  • Bill is red.
  • Throat is white.
  • Back is blue.
  • Legs are red.

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The African Pygmy-Kingfisher feeds on the ground, and on the wing mainly


Aquatic life forms

Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The African Pygmy-Kingfisher is monogamous unless its mate dies. In the event of a partner dying Ispidina picta will seek out a new mate

The nesting habit of African Pygmy-Kingfisher is to create the nest in a hole in the ground. The bird lays eggs which are white in colour and number between 3 to 6

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for African Pygmy-Kingfisher are: woodlands and grasslands . The African Pygmy-Kingfisher is also at home in wetland and riverine areas.

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

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Unknown

Zulu ... iNhlunuyamanzi/isiKhilothi/isiPhikeleli/uZangozolo

Afrikaans ...Dwergvisvanger

German ... Natalzwergfischer

Portuguese ... Pica-peixe-pigmeu

French ... Martin-pcheur pygme

Dutch ... Afrikaanse Dwergijsvogel

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 ... 432

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 ,